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Looking for the Word - (Name of a chemical...)

  1. Billie Kelpin profile image90
    Billie Kelpinposted 2 years ago

    Help me stop the madness!  I'm trying to write one lousy sentence, but I can't give up wanting to refer to a certain smell.  If you were raised in Milwaukee, WI,   you know the smell I think it came from Allen Bradley. You might know it if you work or have worked with old circuit boards (resistors, etc.) 
    It's the same smell as a burning coffee pot handle.  I'm therefore looking for the CHEMICAL that goes into making coffee pot handles that, when burned, has a distinctive odor.

    I want to add the name of that chemical to my sentence," ...and the smell of burning ????? from the Allen Bradley factory." (Allen Bradley made resistors and electronic components, so I think it's the same chemical.)

    If I write this sentence, I can go on with my life.  HELP!

    1. Kylyssa profile image95
      Kylyssaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      We nerds call that magic smoke, a term which refers to the unearthly blueish or otherwise oddly-discolored and always acrid smoke put off when circuit boards or electronic components are burnt or singed.  The exact chemical would vary by what was being overheated.  I think, however, it is not a single chemical but a combination of chemicals together like the scent of flux, solder, and singed circuit-board mingling their vapors together to create an instantly recognizable burning electronics smell.  Plastics and metal vapors and all sorts of generally not-meant-to-be-burned substances meld together to create that signature scent.

      The smell actually makes me feel mildly nostalgic.

      1. paradigmsearch profile image87
        paradigmsearchposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        Same here, from my formative years; maybe 5 or 6 lifetimes ago.

        1. Billie Kelpin profile image90
          Billie Kelpinposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          smile

        2. Kylyssa profile image95
          Kylyssaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          Add a hint of book mildew and some eau de insect immolation via bare light-bulb and it's practically olfactory nostalgia porn.

          1. Billie Kelpin profile image90
            Billie Kelpinposted 2 years ago in reply to this

            Kylyssa, Now that's POETRY.  You MUST use that string in some short story or novel...

            1. Kylyssa profile image95
              Kylyssaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

              I could easily see Cap saying something similar in Gruldak, especially as that elderly gent is modeled after me in so many ways.

  2. Billie Kelpin profile image90
    Billie Kelpinposted 2 years ago

    Kylyssa,

    Very Sweet! Actually, I'd love to smell that Milwaukee mixture once again.  (Maybe twice again).  You added enough adjectives here that I can combine them into something that will describe that distinct but amorphous mixture of scents. Thank you!

    1. paradigmsearch profile image87
      paradigmsearchposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Maybe add resin.

      1. Billie Kelpin profile image90
        Billie Kelpinposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        ah resin - Thanks!

  3. chasmac profile image98
    chasmacposted 2 years ago

    I think the smell you're describing (coffee pot handles, etc) is burning BAKELITE.

    1. Kylyssa profile image95
      Kylyssaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      That's it!  They used to make circuit boards out of it, but it has asbestos in it.

      1. relache profile image84
        relacheposted 2 years ago in reply to this

        Actually Bakelite is made from phenol, formaldehyde and wood flour.  It was only when the Soviets used it as heat shields on rockets that asbestos got added.

        1. Kylyssa profile image95
          Kylyssaposted 2 years ago in reply to this

          They also added asbestos to circuit board.  That's why we always had to wear dust masks in electronics class when we drilled it, even just for a tiny hole.

    2. Billie Kelpin profile image90
      Billie Kelpinposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Ah, that's it !  I DO remember now hearing someone in Milwaukee tell me it was that!   This hubpages forum is a regular walking wikipedia.  Thanks everyone.... now to craft that sentence!

  4. Arachnea profile image83
    Arachneaposted 2 years ago

    polyoxybenzylmethylenglycolanhydride

    1. Billie Kelpin profile image90
      Billie Kelpinposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      Whoo Hoo Hoo Hoo HOOO!

  5. Lorelei Cohen profile image80
    Lorelei Cohenposted 2 years ago

    Why is it that I now can almost smell this strange fragrance wafting through the air. It isn't the morning coffee I am smelling....

    1. Billie Kelpin profile image90
      Billie Kelpinposted 2 years ago in reply to this

      I think I'm going to have to find an old coffee pot handle composed of Bakelite (which I now know is actually polyoxybenzylmethylenglycolanhydride) and burn that handle in honor of all the Sheldons, Hofstadters, Wolowitzes, Koothrappalis, Rostenkowskis, Winkles, and Farrah Fowlers who answered this question.  This has been really fun smile

 
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