Bakelite was the first synthetic plastic; it was developed by Leo Baekeland between the years of 1907-09. Bakelite was a revolutionary new product that could be mass produced due to ability to be shaped when heated and then set into pattern molds. Bakelite was known as a thermoplastic - a product that once set would be nonconductive and heat-resistant. As an electrical insulator it became popular in the growing electrical industry.
"The substance, originally intended as a shellac substitute, turned out to be an astonishing multi-purpose talent. It was superior to other substances in many regards and employable in varied fields so that BAEKELAND hit on the marketing slogan "The Material of a Thousand Uses". Already in the twenties the first entire synthetic plastic was indispensable in most industry branches. - The plastic era had begun." Bakelite Museum
Bakelite is used for radios, clocks, jewellery and door handles and light switches found in the twenties and thirties homes.
Links to Bakelite Articles