How do you tell if a button is Bakelite? (2024)

How do you know if a button is Bakelite?

Using Formula 409 Cleaner

To use, dampen a cotton swab with 409 and rub it gently on the inside of the item being tested. If it is Bakelite, the swab will turn yellow. If a piece is lacquered, it may test negative with 409. Black Bakelite pieces often fail this test as well.

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(Texas Gal Treasures)
How do I identify old metal buttons?

You can identify an old flat button by looking at its physical appearance. Flat buttons are often molded, which will have parting lines (molding) and a gate clip where the metal is shows signs of being poured into a mold. In addition there are old flat buttons stamped with a disc to shape them.

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(Lucky Sweetheart Vintage)
What is baking soda test for Bakelite?

The Baking Soda Test - Dip a cotton swab into baking soda and rub it into a test spot on the item. Ex. a bracelet on the inside, brooch on the back etc. If the cotton swab turns a yellow tone you have a positive test.

(Video) How to test if something is bakelite - Fitfully VIntage
(Fitfully Vintage)
How can you tell the difference between Bakelite and catalin?

Bakelite only comes in dark colors, usually black or dark brown. Catalin can come in a wide variety of color colors, including bright colors and marbling. Bakelite is opaque, while catalin is often translucent (can often see this at the edges of an item).

(Video) Identifying And Dating Valuable Buttons Guide
(The Auction Professor)
Can a button have value?

The value attribute specifies the initial value for a <button> in an HTML form. Note: In a form, the button and its value is only submitted if the button itself was used to submit the form.

(Video) How to test for Bakelite plastic. Valuable plastic jewelry!
(Rebecca J Ray)
How much can you sell buttons for?

Custom buttons and rare and vintage buttons can sell for higher prices. For example, personalized buttons may sell for $10, while licensed buttons may sell for $30. Size also determines how much a button sells for. Generally, the larger the button, the more expensive it is to make.

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(The Velvet Lounge Life)
How do you identify button material?

Another great trick for determining the button material is running it under hot water, and then smelling it. When run under hot water, celluloid buttons will smell like mothballs or Vicks Vapor, bakelite buttons will smell of formaldehyde, and lucite buttons won't have any smell.

(Video) Antique buttons and vintage buttons, Bakelite buttons from Gannon's Antiques & Art
(Gannons Antiques and Art)
What were buttons made of in 1940s?

Most of the buttons of this stock are made from early plastics (cellulose acetate, Bakelite, galalith, etc.) and were manufactured between 1920 and 1940, even slightly earlier for some of these. These are small series and each button was first mould, and then turned.

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How can you tell how old a vintage is?

Most antique dealers consider an item to be vintage if it is at least 40 years old. So, in the context of this blog date, a vintage item would be made between 1918 and 1978. Even though many vintage items are nostalgic, they are sought after for many reasons besides their age. This includes decorating and collecting.

(Nana Tink)
What were buttons made of in the 1800s?

Between about 1840 and 1916, clothing buttons were used in American political campaigns, and still exist in collections today. Initially, these buttons were predominantly made of brass (though horn and rubber buttons with stamped or moulded designs also exist) and had loop shanks.

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(Lucky Sweetheart Vintage)

What were buttons made of in the 1930s?

Plastic buttons became widely available in the 1930s, though most typical shirt buttons were still made of sea shells or other natural materials.

(The Funky Pickle Thrifter)
What were buttons made of in the 1900s?

Vegetable ivory became the choice button for men's jackets (whose production peaked from 1870 until 1920), which were introduced during that time and replaced old dress coats. Although plastic buttons have largely replaced them, vegetable ivory buttons are still manufactured and used today.

How do you tell if a button is Bakelite? (2024)
Why did they stop making Bakelite?

Many companies stopped using Bakelite in the early 1940s as the need for World War II related products took hold. By the end of the War, new technologies in the world of plastics had made Bakelite obsolete. The height of Bakelite jewelry was the late 1930s, up until the end of the Art Deco period.

What are the disadvantages of Bakelite?

However, bakelite had its obvious limitations: it was resistant, but fragile. The hardness and lack of flexibility that made it suitable for certain uses was a drawback for others. “You couldn't make packaging from Bakelite, or fabric, or anything transparent, super lightweight things,” Freinkel sums up.

Does Bakelite glow under black light?

No! It doesn't fluoresce. You get a surface reflection but no reaction. The Fluorescence is generally a muddy green color.

What are the colors of Bakelite?

Bakelite in solid colors is the most recognizable type even without employing testing measures. The most readily found colors are yellow, ranging from butter yellow to dark butterscotch, followed by various shades of green. Red is one of the most popular colors of Bakelite jewelry with collectors.

What year did they stop using Bakelite?

Bakelite applications in conservation were discontinued in the 1940s because of certain disadvantages that soon became apparent.

What are the characteristics of Bakelite?

Bakelite has a number of important properties. It can be molded very quickly, decreasing production time. Moldings are smooth, retain their shape and are resistant to heat, scratches, and destructive solvents. It is also resistant to electricity, and prized for its low conductivity.

How can you tell the difference between Bakelite and celluloid?

All plastics can be differentiated by how they respond to heat. Celluloid and other natural plastics can be heated and softened over and over again to return them to a moldable state. This category is called thermoplastic. Bakelite, once hardened, can never return to a moldable state.

Can you test Bakelite with scrubbing bubbles?

Place a small dab of MAAS, SimiChrome, 4O9, or Scrubbing Bubbles on a clean rag or cotton swap and firmly rub it on the plastic. When two pieces of Bakelite are tapped together, they make a clunky sound, as opposed to when two pieces of "regular" plastic are tapped together, they make a "tinny" sound.

Is Bakelite heavy or light?

Bakelite is quite heavy and you will soon get a sense of how it feels. Highly polished pieces feel waxy and slippery, whereas if they have been stripped of their polish pieces can feel slightly abrasive.

Why isn't Bakelite used anymore?

Bakelite fell out of favor as more durable plastics were developed. The colors of Bakelite aren't stable, and it is more fragile than modern plastics, but to collectors these characteristics add to its charm.

What is the disadvantage of Bakelite?

However, bakelite had its obvious limitations: it was resistant, but fragile. The hardness and lack of flexibility that made it suitable for certain uses was a drawback for others. “You couldn't make packaging from Bakelite, or fabric, or anything transparent, super lightweight things,” Freinkel sums up.

Is Bakelite Magnetic?

Other options, such as option (c) Bakelite is not correct because Bakelite is a synthetic plastic which will not have magnetic properties.

How do I identify my Lucite buttons?

Lucite has a slick feel and is fairly light in weight. It is lighter than catalin. If you put it under hot water, rub it vigorously or poke a hot pin into it it will have no smell. Catalin, bakelite and celluloid have chemical smells and casein smells like burnt milk.

Does Bakelite have any value?

Values for Bakelite jewelry can vary widely depending on the rarity of the piece. Many of the examples shown here are quite hard to find and reflect prices paid by avid collectors who compete at auction to own these pieces. Other pieces shown, which generally sell for $200 and less, are fairly common.

Does Bakelite deteriorate?

Although Bakelite is fairly stable, it does fade and change color.

How can you tell Bakelite from Ivory?

Bakelite can be heavy like genuine ivory, but celluloid is noticeably light and translucent. If you press a hot needle to the plastics it will press in easily and smell like chemicals rather than bone. For a less destructive test test, you can put the item under hot water and get the same chemical smell.

What is the best glue for Bakelite?

If the plastic is definitely bakerlite then Selleys 5 Minute Araldite Epoxy will work quite well. If you think you might need a bit more working time than 5 Minute Araldite will allow you can use Araldite Super Strength which will give a working time of up to 2 hours.

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