Show Summary Details

Page of
<p>Printed from American National Biography. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a single article for personal use (for details see <a href="" target="_blank">Privacy Policy</a> and <a href="/page/legal-notice" target="_blank">Legal Notice</a>).</p><p>date: 24 July 2019</p>

Baekeland, Leo Hendriklocked

(14 November 1863–23 February 1944)
  • Anthony N. Stranges
  •  and Richard C. Jones


Baekeland, Leo Hendrik (14 November 1863–23 February 1944), chemist and inventor, was born in St. Martens-Latem, near Ghent, Belgium, the son of Karel Baekeland, a cobbler, and Rosalia Merchie, a housemaid. A government scholarship enabled Baekeland to enter the University of Ghent, where he studied chemistry in the School of Exact Sciences. He received a B.S. in 1882 and a D.Sc. in organic chemistry in 1884, passing the examination with highest honors. The following year he became an assistant to Theodore Swarts, a professor of chemistry at Ghent. In 1887 Baekeland won a traveling scholarship in an academic competition sponsored by the Universities of Ghent, Liege, Brussels, and Louvain. He postponed travel and instead continued as an assistant professor and then as associate professor from 1888 to 1889 at Ghent and at the nearby Higher Normal School at Bruges from 1885 to 1887. In 1889 he married Swarts’s daughter, Céline, an artist; they had two children. The couple used Baekeland’s scholarship for travel to France, Britain, and the United States that year....

You do not currently have access to this article


Please login to access the full content.


Access to the full content requires a subscription