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I just read a book on the Channel Islands in WWII, which mentions things being kept in a plastic sack. I know Bakelite was around then but was soft plastic? The guy with the sack was a doctor (if that has any relevance). The Channel Islands were occupied and they were short of all the basic stuff. Perhaps the Germans had plastic sacks and he liberated one? This is really bugging me and Google has been no help. Deeli, where are you? Help!
Well, I am not Deeli (she's great), and I am not a bakelite expert, but bakelite in general was sort of a hard plastic type stuff. I am not aware of a soft form of it. I am a post -WWII (a baby boomer).
The author may have been mistaken. I do not believe they had plastic then but they did have rubber which they melted and painted onto canvas making it waterproof. They also had oil cloth which was similar but not as durable.
Check out http://en.wikip org/wiki/Plastic and http://inventor s/a/plastics.htm which gives a history and timeline of plastic. The plastic sacks could have been nylon (which I wasn't aware was plastic until I read just now) or vinyl which is definitely plastic.
I googled the history of plastic and got this:
It gives a time line of things dating all the way back to the 1800's and yes, it's possible to have real "vinyl" which is a form of plastic in the era during the war.
I saw a movie depicting the conquest of California, and heard a general say "I am not made of plastic"! Once you hit dictionary.com however, you realize it's a concept of something "having the power of molding" so then it didn't drive me so crazy. It was a silly mistake, but if you consider the quality of movies in the 50's it's forgivable. PBP