Bakelite and Faturan Beads in 1922 - 1923
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Posted by: Rosanna Post Reply
07/26/2021, 11:27:45

I recently made the acquaintance of another bead enthusiast who collects information about Faturan- one of the earliest phenolic resin materials that may have been commercialized as early as Bakelite (first commercialized in 1910). A notice in the US Patent Office Official Gazette in 1926 shows a request for copyright of "Faturan" that claims use "since about 1909" - a provocative claim.

My contact has found some fascinating info, including several items from 1923, showing Bakelite and Faturan beads.

The first picture shows a 1923 window display in the famous Bamberger department store building in Newark, NJ. Text below the photo says in part, "The unusual colors, with their delicate hues and striking resemblance to the actual jems [sic] themselves, result in an ever increasing demand for Bakelite Jewelry."

The second item is an ad from a 1923 German newspaper (sorry, I don't have the exact reference) showing that both Bakelite and Faturan were being made into beads near Hamburg, Germany. Other information gathered by my new contact shows that Faturan beads were being imported into the US in 1922 by the Royal Jewelry Mfg. Co., New York.

These items show clearly that Bakelite and Faturan beads were commercial items in the early 1920s. Hopefully this information is helpful to people who have phenolic resin beads and are trying to date them. I also hope to dispel the mistaken idea, mentioned a few times on this forum, that there are no such things as Bakelite beads.

I am continuing my search for information about the history of phenolic beads since they may have been in circulation in the 1910s as well - I just can't prove it yet!

BakeliteJewelryAd1923.jpg (112.2 KB)  PaulScharnbergAd1923.jpg (85.8 KB)  

Modified by Rosanna at Mon, Jul 26, 2021, 14:43:44

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