Have fun with this funky vintage set of bright happy colors made with the one and only Bakelite (also known as “Baekelite”) for a fraction of their cost at $35/each back in the day!
Bakelite (Baekelite) Jewelry
Bakelite, sometimes spelled Baekelite, or polyoxybenzylmethylenglycolanhydride, is an early plastic. It is a thermosetting phenol formaldehyde resin, formed from a condensation reaction of phenol with formaldehyde. It was developed by the Belgian-American chemist Leo Baekeland in Yonkers, New York, in 1907.
Bakelite was already a wealthy inventor of Velox photographic paper, when he began to investigate the reactions of phenol and formaldehyde in his home laboratory, which eventually lead to his invention of Bakelite.
One of the first plastics made from synthetic components, Bakelite was used for its electrical non-conductivity and heat-resistant properties in electrical insulators, radio and telephone casings and such diverse products as kitchenware, jewelry, pipe stems, children’s toys, and firearms. The “retro” appeal of old Bakelite products has made them collectible.
Bakelite was designated a National Historic Chemical Landmark on November 9, 1993, by the American Chemical Society in recognition of its significance as the world’s first synthetic plastic.
Retro style, also known as “vintage inspired”, is style that is consciously derivative or imitative of trends, music, modes, fashions, or attitudes of the past.