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Celluloid, first commercial synthetic plastic, developed by J. W. Hyatt (1869), made by treating nitrocellulose with camphor and alcohol. It is tough, strong, and resistant to water and oils. Used in dental plates, combs, billiard balls, lacquers, and spectacle frames, celluloid is highly inflammable and has been largely replaced by newer plastics.

See also: Plastic.

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