Hilaire de Chardonnet, French engineer

Hilaire de Chardonnet, French engineer

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Credit: HAGLEY MUSEUM AND ARCHIVE/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Hilaire de Chardonnet (1839-1924), French engineer. Chardonnet was a French engineer, chemist and industrialist who invented the process of manufacturing rayon. Obtaining a patent in 1884 on a fibre produced by extruding a solution of cellulose nitrate through fine glass capillaries (a process intended to imitate that of the silkworm), Chardonnet developed artificial silk. Soon after, the world's first artificial silk factory was constructed at Besancon in northern France, and Chardonnet exhibited his material at the Paris Exhibition of 1889. The modern rayon industry developed from Chardonnet's silk-making process. This image dates from around the 1870s.

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