Developed in 1907–1909 by Belgian Dr. Leo Baekeland. Formed by the reaction (under heat and
pressure) of phenol and formaldehyde, usually with a wood flour filler.
It's electrically nonconductive and heat-resistant properties
made it ideal for radio and telephone casings, electrical insulators, kitchenware, pipe stems, and
Old Bakelite products are often considered collector's items because of their
unique ' retro look'.
"Bakelite" was originally a trademark name, but it is now considered a generic term for all phenolic resin
- The Russian material 'Shpon', used in W.W. II for aircraft
structures, was a
wood laminate impregnated with phenolic resin and cured in
a heated mould.
The aft fuselage and outer wing panels of the Polikarpov
I-16, early Mig's,
and the early Yak fighters were made of Shpon mouldings.
- Early Russian AK-74
assault rifles used magazines made of Bakelite.
The original triangular handguard of the M-16 was made of Bakelite.
In this undated image provided on Tuesday, 5/22/07, by
London's Science Museum,
a Bakelite ashtray with a 'Michelin' man sitting on the
edge, made to promote
Michelin tyres, is seen. An exhibition at London's Science
Museum, celebrating the
100th birthday of the world's first entirely synthetic
material, plastic, opens Tuesday.
Belgian-American chemist Leo Baekeland created
polymer resin, Bakelite, in 1907 and it sparked a
in manufacturing, transport, fashion, design, and more.
Photo/Science Museum, ho) 5/22/07