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!