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A brand name for the first synthetic plastic composed of Cellulose nitrate plasticized with Camphor. Parkesine was patented in England in 1855 by Alexander Parkes and marketed as a substitute for Ivory. It was used for small objects, such as jewelry, buttons, fountain pens, and brush handles. The Parkesine Company failed after a few years and was acquired by the British Xylonite company in 1875, which produced pyroxylin.

Synonyms and Related Terms

parquesina (Esp.); cellulose nitrate; pyroxylin; Xylonite; Zylonite; Ivoride

Resources and Citations

  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 172
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998
  • Website: -- 1865
  • History of Plastics at - by 1855
  • The Dictionary of Art, Grove's Dictionaries Inc., New York, 1996 Comment: "Plastic"