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, an apothecary
Apothecary is a historical name for a medical professional who formulates and dispenses materia medica to physicians, surgeons and patients — a role now served by a pharmacist and some caregivers....
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...
, accidentally discovered polystyrene
Polystyrene ) also known as Thermocole, abbreviated following ISO Standard PS, is an aromatic polymer made from the monomer styrene, a liquid hydrocarbon that is manufactured from petroleum by the chemical industry...
in 1839. Simon distilled an oily substance from storax
Storax is also a name for trees in the genus StyraxStorax is the resinous exudate of the tree Liquidambar orientalis , occasionally used in incense or as an aromatic fixative in perfumery....
, the resin of the Sweetgum tree, Liquidambar orientalis
, which he named "styrol". Several days later he found that the styrol had thickened, presumably due to polymerisation, into a jelly which he dubbed styrol oxide ("Stryroloxyd").