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!
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.
Same here, from my formative years; maybe 5 or 6 lifetimes ago.
Add a hint of book mildew and some eau de insect immolation via bare light-bulb and it's practically olfactory nostalgia porn.
Kylyssa, Now that's POETRY. You MUST use that string in some short story or novel...
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!
I think the smell you're describing (coffee pot handles, etc) is burning BAKELITE.
That's it! They used to make circuit boards out of it, but it has asbestos in it.
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.
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!
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....
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
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