Burke traces the development of plastics back in time to a 17th century Dutch cargo ship, the Fluyt
Owned by the Dutch East India Company, the Fluyt
ship carried silk, spices, tea, Japanese and Chinese porcelain as well as nearly 180,000 pieces of Dutch golden ducats.
Paulus Traudenius (Formosa) ende den oppercoopman Johan van Elseracq (Japan) per fluyt
de Zaayer, geschr.
With slight variations to suit local conditions, the nao was known as a fluyt
in Holland, a hulk in Germany, and a carrack in the Mediterranean.
was a recent breakthrough in Dutch shipbuilding design that sailed faster, carried more cargo and needed less crew than conventional ships of the time.