In high schools they teach the history of the Industrial Revolution—the invention of the steam engine, the Spinning Jenny, water-powered looms, and so forth.

In high schools they teach the history of the Industrial Revolution—the invention of the steam engine, the Spinning Jenny, water-powered looms, and so forth. Some day, those history courses will include two other industrial revolutions—those of synthetic materials and computers in the 20th and 21st centuries.

In researching our 50th Anniversary issue, we learned how much of the history of plastics has yet to be told in a comprehensive way. We had to piece much of it together from the pages of Plastics Technology. And where better to look than in a magazine devoted to reporting and explaining new developments in technology for processing plastics?

This month, we uncover the origins of the 50 most important technical developments in plastics since we started publishing in 1955. Next month, we’ll profile some processors that have been around that long and tell how their world has changed. In December, we’ll gaze into a crystal ball for glimpses of what may be the most important innovations of the next 50 years.