He was the winner of a $10,000 prize offered by Phelan and Collender of New York City for the best substitute for an ivory ball. While still searching for substitute materials for making billiard balls, he invented celluloid, which he patented on 12 July 1870, (No. 105,338).
He combined nitrocellulose, camphor, and alcohol, heated the mixture under pressure to make it pliable for molding, and allowed it to harden under normal atmospheric pressure. His discovery opened the way for the development of the modern plastics industry.
According to today.inc