Plastics and BAYKO

The primary purpose of this section of the website is to give a little thought to the general subject of plastics, without which, of course, BAYKO would never have got off the ground.
We're all thoroughly familiar with plastics today and generally take their use for granted - in fact, we probably don't normally notice them at all.
However, given that BAYKO was the world's first plastic construction toy, plastics are a fundamental issue.
Plastics slide show
There is a section which discusses the specific plastics used during the lifetime of BAYKO
Initially, BAYKO was manufactured in BAKELITE, the world's second commercial plastic…
In the mid 1950s, Plimpton began a gradual move to POLYSTYRENE, which MECCANO completed…
BAYKO's status within the U.K. toy industry was occasionally used by the plastics industry to support, if not actually help drive, the perception of the quality of the materials they supplied…
In the early days, Plimpton made great use of mottled, two tone plastics for BAYKO
It's worth bearing in mind that, particularly during the first 15 years, while C.B. Plimpton was in charge, BAYKO was at the cutting edge in terms of cost-effective production of quality plastic parts for the mass market.
In another vein, British Industrial Plastics, a sometime supplier to Plimpton, ran a number of interesting adverts in the 'Illustrated London News' [e.g. above right] which are strangely quirky and somewhat uncommercial…
For the record, the world's first commercial plastic was invented in Birmingham, in 1856 - yes, 1856 - by Alexander Parkes, who named it PARKESINE. However, he rapidly went bankrupt, focusing on cost not quality, and the ball passed to Daniel Spill who renamed it XYLONITE, before John Wesley Hyatt produced the variant he named CELLULOID, around 1862.
 
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Latest update - January 30, 2019
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