Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Positively Bakelite: A Lesson in Simichrome

A few years ago I met a guy in New Jersey who'd just inherited his deceased grandmother's vast accumulation of antiques. When he told me that she'd owned quite a few buttons, I asked if any of them were Bakelite. He said that he didn't know, so I loaned him my tube of Simichrome* polish, which is what I use for testing all of my Bakelite. A few days later I heard back from him. "There's a big green button that tested positive," he said. We settled on a price and that's how I landed this flying saucer.

*Simichrome is a type of metal polish, which also just happens to work as a Bakelite testing agent. It's a cream that looks like pink toothpaste and is available to buy at most hardware stores. After applying Simichrome to a piece of plastic, if the color of the cream turns from pink to yellow, you know you've got some real-life Bakelite. Here's a Youtube clip that shows a lady using Simichrome polish to test a Bakelite bracelet. Click here: TESTING BAKELITE WITH SIMICHROME POLISH

-Sherbert McGee 

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