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A portrait of Count Hilaire de Chardonnet (1839-1924). Chardonnet was a French 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. The modern rayon industry developed from Chardonnet's silk-making process.
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