The special exhibit “Bakelite in Yonkers: Pioneering the Age of Plastics”, was housed at the Hudson River Museum, traveling from Amsterdam, a former home of Belgian founder Leo H. Baekeland, to the place of its invention and birth.
|The egg shaped Bakelizer, 1909||.|
Overlooking the majestic banks of the Hudson River, the museum provided an overall look at the synthetic plastics industry from its inception, with focus on brand name Bakelite as its most famous product.
Colorful displays of the aged thermoset plastics in every size, shape, and function, were exhibited throughout the large and spacious hall.
Touted as “The Material of a Thousand Uses”, there were utilitarian objects such as car parts, typewriters, and cooking bowls, as well as vanity items including hair combs, make up sets, and carved "gems" of rings, bracelets, necklaces, brooches, and every imaginable kind of plastic jewelry.
“You can’t melt it, burn it, or bend it”, echoed the 1930's voice, from an early promotional movie reel.
No longer "lost" and since rediscovered by a new generation of vintage loving Bakelite aficionados, the popular exhibit has long since returned to Amsterdam, while a myriad of Bakelite products continue to be appreciated and enjoyed today.
Here is a fine sampling of vintage Bakelite jewelry offered by Vintage Fashion Guild members.
Vintage 40s Carved Amber Bakelite Hand Tussie Mussie Pin Brooch
by Glad Rags & Curios on Ruby Lane
40's Vintage Red Carved Bakelite Earrings
by MorningGlorious on Etsy
Mid-Century Bakelite and Laminated Wood Demi-Parure
by Linn’s Collection on Ruby Lane
Large Vintage Carved Black Bakelite and Rhinestone Swordfish Sailfish Pin Brooch
by PinkyAGoGo on Etsy
1940s Vintage Butterscotch Bakelite Horse Head Pin
by Falls Avenue Vintage Fashion on Ruby Lane
Written by Laura Milera, Metro Retro Vintage