Parafilm is without any doubt the most used consumable in all the laboratories in the world. Need to seal something quickly? Parafilm! Need to repair something? Parafilm! Need to stop bleeding from a glass scratch? Napkin and parafilm! Your shoe is broken? Parafilm for keeping it useful until going back home!
Parafilm! Parafilm! Parafilm!!!!
But, this magic plastic, is used only in labs? Of course not, such amazing material is used to keep oxygen out of your favorite whiskey, wrapping your flowers or painting your models… It’s one of the few things that you can find in the lab and in the “real world”.
But, who invented this magic film? When, and how? Useless questions that I tried, without any luck, to answer:
Parafilm is a 50:50 mix between polyolefins and paraffin wax. It was trademarked in 1934 but some previous references are found in a patent dated 1932. Those dates are quite important as they are between the two great wars, therefore the parafilm was not one of the invention pushed by the war (like for example the silly putty). And it fits with the discovery of the synthesis of polyolefines.
And that’s more or less everything I managed to find about it. Who was the man (or woman) that discover it? I don’t know, but THANK YOU!!!
Naturally if you have any good hint on the parafilm history, please contact me :)