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The History of Cellophane

Cellophane was invented in 1908 by a Swiss-born chemist named Jacques Brandenberger. He originally set out to create a clear, flexible, waterproof film that could be applied to cloth and began by experimenting with different ways of applying liquid viscose rayon to fabric. During his experiments, he realized that a thin, transparent film could be peeled off the top of the cloth. He believed the unique material would have many potential uses, so he switched his focus to that instead. By 1912, he had successfully invented one of the first machines for large-scale cellophane production and built up the necessary infrastructure to manufacture his new material in Paris. He continued to experiment and discovered many different uses for cellophane. Two of the most notable uses he found were using cellophane to wrap products and using it to create a thin, flexible film over the eyepieces of gas masks. While working at La Cellophane Societe Anonyme in 1917, Brandenberger earned patents for his machinery and basic manufacturing process. In 1923, La Cellophane sold the rights for making and selling cellophane in North and Central America to the DuPont Cellophane Company and the product soon became a staple packaging material all over the world. While newer, more heat-resistant plastics have been created since then, Brandenberger's cellophane is still common in packaging to this day.

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