Category Archives: Plastica
Plastic shopping bags may be a blight on the landscape, but Jessica Lee, a student at Parsons The New School of Design, has found that these puffs of polyethylene also contain a certain hidden grace. For her thesis project, Lee … Continue reading
There’s a great piece by Nicola Twilley at Atlantic.com on the rise of the disposable coffee cup lid, and the astonishing variety of ways in which designers have responded to the challenge of capping a portable hot cup of joe. … Continue reading
Open. Bless. Toss. Who knew you could get salvation on the go: A friend told me about these single-use communion kits. I looked online and discovered several companies offer these portable communion kits, which, as one company put it, “combine … Continue reading
Thankfully this one failed. Why, you may ask, are these women wearing plastic beaks? To protect their faces from falling snow! Luckily, in case of cone-failure we could always fall back on the hat.
Here, in no particular order, are some interesting factoids about plastic. I’d love to hear any that you know. Bakelite was invented to replace shellac, then in high demand as an electrical insulator. But supplies were running short as it … Continue reading
The photos here and on the following posts give a sense of some of the objects I used to tell the story of plastic. The comb exemplifies the extraordinary imitative powers of the plastic celluloid. It was used to mimic … Continue reading
The credit card: Diner’s Club, started in 1951, introduced the idea of the credit card. In 1958, American Express gave us the card in plastic.
The Cricket, developed in France in the early 1960s, was the first disposable lighter. It was one of countless objects that helped usher in the era of what Life magazine dubbed “Throwaway Living”. Now lighters are one of the most … Continue reading
The plastic blood bag was developed in the late 1940s by Boston surgeon Carl Walter, who wanted to replace the breakable, cell-damaging glass and rubber blood bottles then in use:
Walter Frederick Morrison brought us new worlds of fun with his “Pluto Platter,” later renamed the Frisbee by Wham-O: