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