Newsletter Fall 2018
Happy Birthday, Leo
155 years ago on November 14th, 1863, Leo Hendrik Arthur Baekeland was born in Ghent, Belgium to Carolus Ludovicus Baekeland and Rosalia Merchie. 
Power Point slide courtesy of
Ghent University Museum for the History of Science

November 15 th  is America Recycles Day.

111 years ago  Leo solved a problem and came up with Bakelite. 
Today we are faced with the negative impacts of plastic. You know if he were alive today, Leo would be working on a solution.
So let's pitch in and be part of the solution, not the pollution.

  • The short film opens lecture in Brussels
  • European Phenolic Resins Assoc. shows ATB
  • ATB will be distributed on public televison
  • Commemorative Bakelite medallion in the works
  • Short version submitted to Film Festival
  • DVDs available soon
  • Copyright submissions formally in place
  • Katarina Posch to be featured on Austrian television
  • A visit with Bakelite jewelry designer Jorge Caicedo
  • Film screenings in Darien, CT and Lisbon, Portugal 
Lecture for the Royal Academy of Sciences and Arts - Brussels 

P rofessor Emeritus Eric Goethals, Department of Organic and Macromolecular Chemistry, Ghent University gave a lecture June 20th on Baekeland and the History and Future of Plastics for the Royal Flemish Academy of Sciences and Arts in Brussels. The 21 minute version of our film was the opener.

Prof. Goethals gives his lecture 
In his request to show the film, Eric wrote to Hugh, "Of course in such a lecture, Baekeland can not be absent."

And afterwards, he wrote,
" The audience was very positive about the movie and it was, indeed, a perfect introduction for the lecture.
It was appreciated that the recent concern about plastic's pollution was addressed in the movie."

"Also during the lecture that problem was discussed and the importance of future developments such as recycling and/or sustainable materials was presented." The event opened with remarks by meeting Chairman Mark Eyskens, former Prime Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belgium. 

Mark Eyskens and Eric Goethals  watch All Things Bakelite
Screening at the European Phenolic Resins Association 

Through an introduction from Dr. Louis Pilato, Dr. Eckart Nausch, Managing Owner of the DNU Treuhandbuero, Düsseldorf, Germany i ncluded a showing of our film at the General Assembly of the European Phenolic Resins Association (EPRA) in Venice, Italy on October 17th.

Dr. Nausch, who is Secretary of the EPRA, wrote, "The committee viewed the link to the film and were highly impressed. The current EPRA Chairman is Dr. Arno Knebelkamp, CEO of Prefere Resins (formerly Dynea) based in Erkner, Germany. Let me take the opportunity to thank you for your efforts and be assured that the EPRA does everything to honor your great-grandfather."
Film screening at the EPRA

In 2009, Hugh and Sherry Karraker were invited to Erkner by Dynea for the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the collaboration between Leo Baekeland and Dr. Max Weber of Rutgers AG. 

The event was also for the opening of BakelitGmbH 
(The German company opened in 1910, the same year as the founding of the General Bakelite Company).  

The celebration and dinner included a spectacular lasar show and a delightful performance by the local citizens of Erkner. 
Hugh and Roger Carlstedt,
former President and CEO of Dynea 

The National Educational Telecommunications Association (NETA) to distribute ATB

The National Telecommunications Association (NETA) will distribute our film to public television stations nationwide.

To accommodate their specifications, some minor adjustments were made by D
irector, John Maher and Editor, Craig Mikhitarian; closed captioning was added by VSI/HD Studios in Southington, CT. 
Beginning January 2019, NETA will make the film available to approximately 300 public television stations. And because plastics pollution is a hot topic in the news, we feel the timing is perfect for the release. Interested programmers  can schedule and begin broadcasting as early as April 2019. 
The local, regional and national marketing campaign is contracted through Executive Program Services (EPS) and Hellman Communications. 
We welcome Dan Everett and Alan Foster at EPS and Susan Hellman to our Team. 
If you have any contacts in the public television world, please introduce us and put in a good word about the film.

medalBakelite medallion being created
We've begun the process of building a thermoset phenolic resin commemorative medallion featuring Leo Baekeland, our film's logo, and the school and companies that helped make it. 

For the design, thanks to an introduction by Russ Broome, Senior Director, Business Development at PLASTICS Industry Association, we're working with University of Akron, Dept. of Polymer Engineering Chair, Sadhan Jana and President of the Polymer Engineering Student Organization, Suresh Narute. 

We have a commitment to build the mold from Kirk Kuhlman, Sales/Program Manager at
WesTool CorporationHugh and Marc met Kirk and President/Owner Greg West at the Thermoset Topical Conference in Indianapolis earlier this year. 
We are grateful for the opportunity to work with them. 
The process begins as a competition among the U. of Akron students to design the medallion. The winning design will go to WesTool for building the mold, and the medallion will either be manufactured at the school or at WesTool.
It was determined that each medallion will take approximately one pound of material to manufacture. We intend to make 300 medallions this first run. 
Thankfully, Dr. Louis Pilato introduced us to Hendrik De Keyser, Chief Innovation and Technology Officer at Vyncolit N.V., who offered to provide the material.
Vyncolit N.V. is part of SBHPP
, the High Performance Plastics business unit of Sumitomo Bakelite Co., Ltd. world leader in phenolic chemistry. Vyncolit N.V. produces reinforced plastic compounds for all industries.  
The medallion will be given out as a keepsake and as a  thank you gift at screening events around the world.

sundanceFilm submission to Sundance Film Festival 

We recently submitted the short version of our film to Sundance. 
The notification date is December 7th. Cross your fingers.  


We are proud to announce that a two-disc DVD box set will be available for the holidays. Disc one contains both the full length and educational versions, disc two offers wonderful bonus content. Purchasing information will be available on our website soon at

Copyrights submitted for processing  

We've submitted both the full length and educational versions of our film to the US Copyright Office.

katarinaKatarina Posch featured in a program for Austrian television

Katrina holding the Radio Nurse designed by Isamu Noguchi
Katarina Posch, former professor at Pratt Institute, who appears in our film, will be featured in a TV movie 
being produced for the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation (ORF). 
Director Tobias Doerr says, "Destiny and Fate is about resilience. Katarina will be one of three protagonists confronted with a stroke of fate and how each of them manages to overcome their struggle."
John Maher provided the producers with the original footage of our interview with Katarina. Doerr's intention is to use some of the footage to show the difference between now and before her stroke. 

The film is scheduled to air in December.
If you are in the broadcast region, please check your local listings. 

caicedoA visit with Bakelite jewelry designer Jorge Caicedo

On November 1st, John Maher, Marc Huberman and his fiancé Christine Berntsen visited with Bakelite jewelry designer  Jorge Caicedo Montes De Oca and his wife Piedad Ceballos at their Manhattan loft. 

Jorge is prominently  featured in our film. To learn more about his works, please click here

John, Jorge and Piedad 
Christine, Marc, Piedad and Jorge 
upcomingUpcoming Screenings

Thanks to Maggie McIntire, Executive Director of the Darien Historical Society, we will screen the film on January 13, 2019. 

When she was program director at the Mark Twain Library, Maggie hosted a screening of our film in May 2016. 
We are grateful to Maggie for bringing our film to Darien. 

By the way, John Maher grew up in Darien where his father was the football coach at Darien High School. So, this will be a homecoming for John.

The Darien Historical Society is at:
45 Old Kings Highway North, Darien, CT.
Phone: 203-655-9233. 

Time TBA.

ATB to screen at Plastics Heritage Congress
Lisbon, Portugal
The Plastics Heritage Congress 2019 (May 29th-31st) held in Lisbon will screen our film during the program on May 30th. 

We thank PHC Chair, Guenther Lattermann and Co-Chair, Maria Elvira Callapez for this wonderful opportunity.

The Keynote Speaker will be Jeffrey Meikle, Author and Professor of American Studies at the University of Texas, Austin. 
Prof. Meikle, author of "American Plastic: A Cultural History" appears in our film. Jeff's lecture for the Congress is titled, "Rethinking Early Plastics: The Rhetoric of Bakelite as a New Material".

For more information on the Congress, go to:

Note: Submission of individual papers proposals closes at 23.59 GMT on 15 November 2018.

All Things Bakelite: The Age of Plastic

Two versions of the film available
21 minutes - Educational / Industry
59 minute - Full Length