Posted by: Air studios Mail author
An interesting aside about the plastics that were invented pre or post Bakelite: My Uncle was the inventor/ designer and manufacturer of the famous Kilroy lapel pins that were manufactured during and after WW II.. Instead of using Bakelite he decided to invent his own organic based plastic. His concoction was quite adaptable to his purposes - easily poured and molded, and it accommodated the paint he used on the eyes. Unfortunately, perhaps because this synthetic mix was flammable, the factory burned to the ground at the height of production. The remaining Kilroys (aka "pocket Peekies",) are now collector's items due to their flawless design, iconic value and scarcity- and whenever they appear on eBay (not often) they're listed as Bakelite by dealers who just can't tell the difference.. I'm mentioning this because my Uncle was an entertainer and inventor.. by no means a chemist... If he could make a synthetic mix with the basic properties that made Bakelite so popular, I'm sure this kind of thing must have been done frequently .. The copal/amber/whatever trade beads that often defy analysis might be the result of mixing an extraordinary organic synthetic that is no longer in use today.
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