Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Plexiglas : Acrylic , Lucite, and More Wonderful Glass-Tic Plastic

A glass alternative, in plastic, this mod lamp available at TheVintageSupplyCo
So let's talk Plexiglas, certainly a material we take for granted.  It's often used as a real alternative to glass, fronting the face of shelving, cabinets, or displays. Lamps, bracelets, presentation bowls, and cheesy 10th grade industrial shop do-it-yourself school projects.
Mod Lucite Ring for sale at Hollywood Rings.

The real name for it, and definition according to Wikipedia, is as follows:

Poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA).  This is a transparent thermoplastic, often used as a light or shatter-resistant alternative to glass. It is sometimes called acrylic glass. Chemically, it is the synthetic polymer of methyl methacrylate. The material was developed in 1928 in various laboratories, and was first brought to market in 1933 by Rohm and Haas Company, under the trademark Plexiglas.[4] It has since been sold under many different names including Lucite and Perspex.

Oronkol's Boutique on Etsy uses Laser Cut Plexiglas in their Necklaces.

Some of my Plexiglas Color Samples.

Rohm and Haas, which is now a subsidiary of Dow Chemical Company, originally started their business in 1906 in Germany.  In 1909 a US company was formed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  The "Resinous Products Company" was started in 1927--perhaps when they started dabbling in synthetic resins. In 1933, Otto Rohm discovers Plexiglas in Germany. Meanwhile, business partner Otto Haas builds an acrylic lab in the US in Bristol. Plexiglas is used widely in the 1930's, and saluted during the World War. It is a stronger alternative to glass, and was here to stay!   Enjoy watching these wonderful videos courtesy of the Prelinger Archives which show just how far Plexiglas has come. 

Looking Ahead Through Plexiglas: Part One

Looking Ahead Through Plexiglas, Part Two


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