An attempt is made to give a survey of polymer processing during the past 50 years, with a backward glance to earlier periods and to roots of development in related branches of industrial production. Selected topics are treated in some detail, with comments and comparisons, showing typical trends and forecasting possible progress in the near future: Extrusion, injection molding, blow molding, calendering and sundries. A separate chapter deals with the role of theory and experiment in polymer processing. Generally, it may be stated that in the main fields development is changing from a practical art to applied science. – For rounding-off the article is closed with some anecdotes and stories about pioneers in the front line of plastics progress.