Moderne Home: Bakelite
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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.




Bakelite Style: The Material of a Thousand Uses

The Plastics Age: From Bakelite to Beanbags and Beyond

From Bakelite to Composite


Links to Bakelite Articles

Zimmermann's Virtual Bakelite Museum

The Bakelite Story: Marriott World

Bakelite Museum

Ghent Bakelite Museum


Bakelite Products

Antique Phones

Candlestick & Bakelite online

1947 Video on the Bakelite Telephone- Youtube

Art Deco House Style

Understanding the Edwardian and Inter-War Houses

Thirtiestyle: Home Decoration

Video tour of Bakelite show: Youtube







Post War