I love bakelite. I started collecting it back when I was living in Boston. I had begun to collect the original Fiesta pottery and bakelite flatware went perfectly with it. Eventually, I amassed quite a collection of Fiesta, which I later sold. But I kept the bakelite utensils.
Bakelite was invented by Leo Baekeland, a Belgian chemist, in Yonkers, NY (not too far from MHC.) In 1909, he patented a phenolic resin that was used in industrial applications. It eventually entered the consumer market and was used in radios, pool balls, jewelry, flatware, kitchenware – all sorts of decorative applications.
I love the way the colors get richer with time. If I see something with even a touch of bakelite, I’m all over it.
The vintage flour canister was a retro red that I liked, but what sealed the deal was the bakelite handle. The shape and color are fabulous. The vintage napkin ring is the same color except for that wonderful green beak. Bakelite was really popular in the 1920’s and 30’s and you can see that in the deco design of both pieces.
I have a lot of flatware that I keep in an old Harlequin jug. These colors make me happy.