by Rob Kerby, Senior Editor
Let's hear it for the unknown, unsung, unheralded good guys (and gals) out there! The world-changer who never got much recognition. He or she may have improved your life ... yet you've never heard of them! For example:
Alexander Parkes is the inventor of plastic. Just imagine the world today without his discovery. A good case can be made that the development of plastics took off with Charles Goodyear and that in the early 1900s, plastic-like Bakelite was developed by Belgian chemist Leo Baekeland. However, the first true modern plastic was patented by Parkes in Birmingham, England in 1856. It was unveiled at the 1862 Great International Exhibition in London as “parkesine” after its inventor and won him a bronze medal.