celluloid [from cellulose ], transparent, colorless synthetic plastic made by treating cellulose nitrate with camphor and alcohol. Celluloid was the first important synthetic plastic and was widely used as a substitute for more expensive substances, such as ivory, amber, horn, and tortoiseshell. It is highly flammable and has been largely superseded by newer plastics with more desirable properties. It has been used for combs, brush handles, billiard balls, knife handles, buttons, and other useful objects.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

More on celluloid from Fact Monster:

  • The Fact Monster Movie Guide - Movies by theme, quizzes, and more
  • Jessore - Jessore Jessore , city (1991 pop. 154,000), SW Bangladesh, on the Bhairab River. Modern Jessore, a ...
  • Benjamin Day - Day, Benjamin Day, Benjamin, 1838–1916, American printer; son of Benjamin Henry Day. While ...
  • Back to School Movies - Lights! Camera! Learning! The best school movies ever made by Beth Rowen Sir Laurence Olivier's ...
  • John Wesley Hyatt - Hyatt, John Wesley Hyatt, John Wesley, 1837–1920, American inventor, b. Starkey, N.Y. He is ...

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Organic Chemistry

Play Hangman

Play Poptropica

Play Quizzes

Play Tic Tac Toe