Earliest existing specimen of viscose rayon, 1898.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
This sample of viscose rayon (artificial silk) was made on 30th August, 1898. Viscose rayon is a regenerated cellulose. Due to the yellow solution obtained being rather viscous it became known as 'Viscose'. Viscose rayon was produced by Englishmen Charles F Cros and Edward J Bevan and patented by Cros, Bevan and Clayton Beadle in 1892, with the British patents taken over by by Courtaulds in 1904. The sample was presented to the Science Museum, London by Cros and Bevan Laboratories.