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1912, trademark name for a flexible, transparent product made from regenerated cellulose, coined by the inventor, Swiss chemist Jacques E. Brandenberger (1872-1954), probably from cell(ulose) + o + phane, from Greek phainein "to appear" (see phantasm).
regenerated cellulose extruded into thin, flat, transparent sheets. Extrusion through a small hole or spinneret produces a fibre, rayon. Highly impermeable to dry gases, grease, and bacteria, cellophane is used chiefly to package food and other perishables. It is frequently given a moisture-proof coating and is sometimes dyed.