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Table tennis balls (40 mm) made from celluloid.

Celluloid is the name of a group of compounds made from nitrocellulose and camphor, plus dyes and other agents. It was the first thermoplastic. It was first called Parkesine in 1856, then Xylonite in 1869 and then Celluloid in 1870. Celluloid is easily molded and shaped. It was first widely used as an ivory replacement, in billiard balls for example. Celluloid catches fire very easily and also easily breaks down, and is no longer widely used. Its most common uses today are for making table tennis balls and guitar picks.[1]


  1. Andrea Picks: The Saga of Cellulose

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