April 8, 2012


Although it's hard to come across these days, we love Bakelite! What is bakelite you ask? We'll tell you!
Bakelite was the first types of plastic made, way back in 1907 by a Belgian chemist named Leo Baekeland. It was originally used because of its electrically non-conductive and heat-resistant properties in radio and telephone casings. Later on it was used in kitchenware, jewellery and toys.


Want to know how to test to make sure it's bakelite or fakelite that you're dealing with? There are a couple of different ways, but all are really easy!

Try a hot ware test! Put the piece under hot tap water and if it smells:

Fishy (carbolic)- It's bakelite!
Mothballs/Vicks vapour rub (camphor)-It's celluloid!
Burnt milk- Galalith/Casein (a plastic derived from milk products)!
If it smells clean or like nothing at all- it's lucite or acrylic!

You could also do a smell test! Rub the piece with your thumb for 20-30 seconds and if it smells carbolic, it's bakelite!

If neither of those work for you, go out and buy some Simichrome polish, or even Scrubbing Bubbles! Spray onto a cloth and simply rub it on a piece of the bakelite that is kind of hidden in case it takes away from the shine. If it rubs off a yellow stain, you have bakelite! Yay! Happy testing!


  1. Wow those are some pretty nifty tricks to tell if it's bakelite! I adore the radio and the phone, they're seriously cute! :) http://teaforowls.blogspot.co.uk/

  2. I did this post on Bakelite awhile back! Such a fascinating backstory and wonderful products. : ) I have that same Brownie camera and never realized it was Bakelite too. What a fun discovery. Happy Easter to you in Thailand.


  3. those bracelets are to die for!xox

  4. That is so awesome! I didn't know that.

  5. Good tips! I love the bracelets!

  6. My grandmother had a rotary phone like that. I can still her the clicking it made when you dialed each number.


  7. This is a great post! I always use the small test. Works for me!

    x Aliya

  8. Wow!

    All of these products are awesome! Especially the bracelets!!!

    <3 VEGA

  9. These are some of the sweetest Bakelite finds! I'll have to test out some of my pieces...thanks for sharing the great info!

  10. How hot does the water have to be for the test? Just regular hot tap water?

  11. Simichrome works great, but sometimes black pieces give a false negative. Not sure why, but you may want to try one of the other tests along with just to be sure.