We’re catching up on the 4th series of Six Feet Under and in the second episode, one of the characters gives the origin of the word formica: in the beginning of the 20th century, tougher, lighter and less costly insulators were needed, and someone had the idea of creating a sort of laminated plastic material, which ended up doing a marvellous job. It came to replace mica, the stuff that was used in those days; as the new product was a substitute "for mica", that’s what they called it. Then it invaded everyone’s kitchens, fell out of fashion and is now probably lurking somewhere, waiting for its big revival.