Sunday, August 11, 2019

Friday Finds- How I Test for VINTAGE BAKELITE

Hi Friends!

 On Friday I had some time to go THRIFTING !

I went over to GOOD WILL and saw these lovelies....so excited....75 cents each!



I knew right away they were Bakelite-



Looks like plastic-




 BAKELITE was the first plastic made from synthetic components.

 It is a thermo-setting phenol formaldehyde resin, formed from a condensation reaction of phenol with

 formaldehyde. It was developed by the Belgian-American chemist Leo Baekeland in

Yonkers, New York, in 1907.
  It was resistant to heat and would not conduct electricity, so it was a really good insulator—which

made it particularly useful in the automotive and electrical industries emerging in the early 1900s.

You can easily find examples on vintage lamps, toaster handles, and electrical cords.

Later uses were endless, but the most popular is still jewelry.



Note: Although it is thought to be safe, I am not crazy about the formaldehyde-

I would not let children play with this jewelry

because it ends up in the mouth!



I am by no means an expert in any way!

 I'm going to give you a few ways I use to test-

I hope this is helpful to you-




Test by sound-
 Bakelite has a distinct sound. Two bangles will make deep "clunk" instead of a light high pitch
sound.

Test by weight-
Bakelite has a dense feel and heavier than plastic or Celluloid.

Test by smell-
Yes, Bakelite has a distinct odor. Hold object in hand and vigorously rub the same spot with your thumb.
The warming of that spot will release a formaldehyde smell. It will also smell if tested in hot water.
Do not test in water if metal or wood are present. They could become damaged.

Test by sight-
Bakelite- You may say ''I know it when I see it''
Check for nicks and imperfections in carved areas- These are fine!
Pin backings are attached by screws or rivets  not glued!
  

Test by using more than one method !



You can also test with Baking Soda-





Simichrome polish is a popular to test.

You can discreetly check and item before purchasing- always ask permission.





Some say you can use 409 Cleaner to test.....


but....never tried it.





I prefer to use baking soda- It's cheap, safe, easy and I never have to worry about

damaging anything I am testing.


Just add about a Tbsp. to a bowl, and another bowl with a Tbsp. of water


You are also going to need a cotton swab- 1 per item to test.

Wet the cotton swab and dip into the baking soda.




Let's test!

Just rub the swab on the object-



Yes! The cotton swab will turn yellow if it's Bakelite.


My mixed knife collection- Yes!






Some kitchen gadgets- Yes!

Dice- Yes!



some buttons





An Engagement ring box



Yes!



I knew the radio was a yes!

It was a previous purchase at the GOOD WILL. 

It had power but needed some work.

My Dad found some old tubes and fixed this for me.

It works great!





Yes!





Sometimes you can find Bakelite hardware.

My husband refinished this Hoosier cabinet with milk paint we

kept the original hardware because it was Bakelite.

I am still missing one handle.....someday I hope to find one.



Yes!


 It's fun to test....but really who cares!

If you love it, it has value to you.

So have fun THRIFTING!

XO Lisa S

26 comments:

  1. What great finds you found thrifting, I wore bakelite brackets when I was a young girl, thanks for the info.
    Sue

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sue
      Thank you so much. Did you save any of your bangles?
      I appreciate the visit! Have a wonderful week-
      xo Lisa S

      Delete
  2. Great finds. Loving that old radio. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have my grandmother's Bakelite phone. That sucker is HEAVY

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lisa
      Oh I just love the old phones! What a nice keepsake from your Grandma. Thanks for sharing.
      xo Lisa S

      Delete
  4. Well I learnt something new today. Very interesting post and cute bangles too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anita
      I'm so glad to share some information with you.
      Thank you for visiting and saying hello!
      Have a great week- xo Lisa S

      Delete
  5. I've learnt something new too! Thank you for sharing this interesting info.

    Have a great weekend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Veronica
      I'm glad this was helpful-
      Thank you for visiting.
      xo Lisa S

      Delete
  6. Replies
    1. Thank you so much.I'm so glad to have you visit :)
      xo Lisa S

      Delete
  7. Thanx so much; I just love learning new tidbits like this; adds to my "vintage" knowledge.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kathy
      You are so welcome. I agree it's go to know as much as you can if you are starting a collection or have items that you are curious about.
      xo Lisa S

      Delete
  8. these are great tips!! I volunteer in a thrift shop--now I will keep my eyes peeled and the baking soda handy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Kelly
      Thank you so much! I used to work at a Thrift Shop in my younger days too, It was fun-everyday was different. As you know sometimes the strangest things come in.
      xo Lisa S

      Delete
  9. Great tips, Lisa! Thanks for sharing at Vintage Charm!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. I'm happy to share with you at Vintage Charm.
      xo Lisa S

      Delete
  10. I have never found anything that good at Goodwill

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Thrifts look up prices on line now so it it is harder to find those great deals....but once in a while you find something that doesn't have a label and the store doesn't know what it is....that happens to me all time. I love it when they say,"WHAT IS THAT?"
      XO Lisa S

      Delete
  11. What a great post! Thank you for all this helpful information. I have some Bakelite, and will test to make certain. Your bracelets are a great find. What an amazing price!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sarah
      I'm glad I could share this information with you!
      Thank you for visiting.
      xo Lisa S

      Delete
  12. Loved the bakelit, Thanks for joining the Blogger Pit Stop - Pit Stop Crew

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Menaka
      Thank you so much for hosting so I can share at Blogger Pit Stop.
      xo Lisa S

      Delete
  13. I have a sharp, 2 prong fork with a bakelite handle that belonged to my Gram. I didn't know anything about bakelite, so thank you for the info!

    Thanks for sharing on Farm Fresh Tuesdays, Lisa!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lisa
      So happy to be able to share with you !
      Thank you for visiting.
      xo Lisa S

      Delete

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