The exhibit: “Pioneering The Age of Plastics” is currently at the Hudson River Museum in Yonkers, N.Y.


I like the museum badge…

HR Museum badge

The exhibit tells the complete story of Bakelite: from its discovery in 1907 in New Jersey by a Belgian chemist, Dr. Leo Baekelend, and continues through the decades of the twentieth century. Bakelite was the first completely synthetic plastic and cannot be remolded with heat: for collectors this is important as celluloid, another plastic, CAN be remolded and affected by heat.

first plastic, or as its inventor coined it “artificial resinoid,” was molded
or cast into toy trains, bangles, radios, typewriters, lamps, chip-and
dip-bowls, coffee grinders, and thermoses. First an inexpensive alternative to
precious materials such as ivory for billiard balls, Bakelite became the
favorite of designers from Mid-modernists Norman Bel Geddes and Raymond Loewy
to contemporary Philippe Starck. Bakelite’s
enormous influence on the lives of nearly everyone in the twentieth century
continues today, as it finds a place in computers and cars and equipment for
space exploration.”

A desk intercom, from the 1960’s:

6) Bakelite Speaker


Dice from 1940’s:


Most of these are from the 1920’s:

Bakelite Images

I had been working on this story for over a day week month… and wondered why I hadn’t seen any publicity or other stories on the exhibit…when last Sunday The New York Times finally had a wonderfully complete article on the exhibit. See it here.

I know I’ve mentioned this before, but for those of you new to this blog… go to Carole Tanenbaum’s site to see some wonderful Bakelite jewelry! This I love… We’re seeing a resurgence of brooches and pins, thanks to Michelle Obama, and Carole’s site has great ones.

Owls are in:



Both of these are circa 1960


And here, at the Mrs.O site, you can buy more pins such as these:

Prima donna