Between 1907 and 1909, Dr. Leo H. Baekeland was conducting experiments to create a varnish. He was using phenol and formaldehyde, generally with a wood flour filler, and put the mixture under heat and pressure. He accidentally discovered bakelite. It was the first plastic made from synthetic polymers.
As costume jewelry, bakelite had its biggest boom in the 1930's during the Great Depression. It was used to imitate tortoiseshell, coral, amber, ivory and other costly materials. It was attractive to all levels of incomes, including the very rich.
This fantastic Bakelite cuff bracelet, circa 1930's, has an overall marbleized appearance with the basic color of medium green with splotches and veins in shades of yellows and browns. Created for a petite wrist, the interior measures 2 1/4" across, 1 3/8" top-to-bottom and has a 1 3/8" opening. The condition is near mint with no condition issues. A great piece for your collection or to wear.
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