13 Things You Won’t Believe Were Once Made From Bakelite

We never expected that these items could be made from this versatile material.

The durability and beauty of Bakelite made it ideal for so many uses, but when cheaper formulations of plastics came along Bakelite fell out of use save for a handful of applications where durability was paramount. By 1960 nearly all the Bakelite products had been supplanted by cheaper and less durable palstics.

7) Picnic Sets

If you look closely you’ll see that even the thermoses and lids in this picnic set are made from Bakelite.

Via/ Wiki Commons

8) Machine Gun Magazines

Like the grenades, we would have never thought that Bakelite would be used for military items, but clearly the durable nature of this plastic made it ideal.

Via/ Wiki Commons

9) Vacuums

At a time when many vacuums held metal canisters or bags, a plastic canister was a novel use of Bakelite. It certainly looks fetching though!

Via/ Wiki Commons

10) Jewels

Used as “pearls” and “stones” in jewelry and gifts, this chart shows how Bakelite could be made to mimic tiger’s eye and malachite among other semi-precious stones.

Via/ Wiki Commons

11) Typewriters

Seeing as how so many phones back then were made from Bakelite, it makes sense that you could buy a typewriter made of the same material. It’s just a rare sight these days!

Via/ Wiki Commons

12) Dental Tools

Ok, so it’s just the handle and many handles were made from Bakelite way back when. Tools, silverware, beauty aids, light switches, you name it! But, the fact that they thought this would stand up to clinical use says a lot about the faith put in Bakelite.

Via/ Wiki Commons

13) Cigarette Lighter

Just imagine this bad boy on the desk with matching accessories! Maybe even a matched phone and typewriter, too!

Via/ Flickr

We miss the high quality and high style that Bakelite items offered. But, we had no idea that so many things were once made from this long-gone wonder material.

For more on the history of Bakelite click here!