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MitchS

Collection Update

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Randy, good time, I wish I could keep high scores. My brain's getting to old to concentrate!

Back scratchers were from ebay over the past couple of years, one was a single lot and the other I got in a lot of a bunch of great stuff like the twins coffe mug (actually got two of those in the lot). Of course the obligatory NYWF is printed on the back scratchers.

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Hiya Mitch

Very enjoyable - thanks!

I read that one one item you had - you were unsure what the plastic was. Bakelite or whatever. I posted handy non-destructive tips on how to ID the types of plastic used in here somewhere - a post to do with napkin rings. I'll try to find it for you.

Best,

Eric

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Hi Eric,

That would be great, thanks!

Mitch

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Here you go Mitch:

("end of day" was a tyoe of plastic swirled with many colors that was made by mixing the plastic left over at the end of a workday)

"End of day" transparent Bakelite? rootbeer swirls... hmm they look lucite. They should be heavy. Bakelite was a combination of a phenolic resin with wood fibre I think. These napkin rings on eBay were "tested with simichrome" (generally frowned upon except for polishing stripped pieces) which can give false positive results because it is abrasive and may cause some other (modern) plastics to give off a smell which could pass as "acrid" - leading to a false positive result for Bakelite. Also simichrome can leave a yellow residue - making a fake item seemingly pass the F409 test... . I believe this rootbeer swirl is among the more scarce colors if/when it is even genuine, and I have never seen a T&P napkin ring in rootbeer swirl. I have just never seen real ones in this color. I like the orange, red or blue heavy ones with the little sticker. Almost all the ones sold "in the second room" at the Adria were fake as could be. Boxes of matched sets in many colors. New yet no label. This eBay seller seems to know what they are doing but I'd need to hold this, smell it, run it under hot water, test it with 409, hit them together to hear the sound and have a return policy in place as well. Why so cheap - these should be worth more with that marbling. Info below is good - everyone recall those beige melamine bowls from the 50's/60's? I still have one! From 1957...my parents..still holds a good salad!

from <a href="http://bakelite_world_2001.tripod.com/itsbakeliteyouknow/id8.html" target="_blank">http://bakelite_world_2001.tripod.com/itsb...ouknow/id8.html</a>

Bakelite as a material has substantial quality and weight, not normally found in today's plastics.

* Cast, liquid resin was used ( not moulded with phenolic powders ), mould lines or seams do not appear. Good example is Catalin.

* Bakelite was cast into tubes, rods and sheets, which were drilled, carved and sliced by skilled machinists.

* Catalin and Bakelite are very similar as they are both composed of phenol and formaldehyde. The main difference however is that Catalin was a poured liquid and Bakelite was moulded from a granular powder.

More Quick tips .......

HOT WATER TEST: Put the piece under hot tap water, if it smells fishy, carbolic.. it could well be BAKELITE....

Smells like mothballs/Vicks vapour rub ( camphor ) ?.. It's CELLULOID....

Smells like burnt milk ? It's CASEIN/GALALITH - A plastic derived from milk products... (and a glue-MB!)

If it smells clean, or like nothing at all It's LUCITE or ACRYLIC ..... (my guess for these napkin rings - MB)

SMELL TEST: ....

Phenolic ( Bakelite ) will usually give off a distinct smell of carbolic acid when wet or warmed. Friction with your thumb on the dry item for 30 seconds or so can release this distinctive odour....

Below appears an IDENTIFICATION OF PLASTIC MATERIALS TABLE.

I have listed the Material/Popular Name/Colour/Clarity along with Characteristics/Form and Typical Examples :

MATERIAL : PHENOLIC MOULDING POWDER ( Bakelite )

Usually brown, red, or green mottle, or plain black or brown

Opaque.

Hard and brittle. The surface is often discoloured brown and

will mark a tissue rubbed against it. May smell of carbolic when warmed.

Always moulded into shape.

Radio cabinets, ashtrays and electrical plugs and sockets.

*******

MATERIAL: HARD RUBBER ( Vulcanite, Ebonite )

Typically Black, but also red and ripple mixtures.

Opaque Hard,gives off sulphurous smell if rubbed.

Turns brown when exposed to light.

Machine fabricated or moulded.

- Vesta boxes, combs, fountain pens and

jewellery. Pink vulcanite was used for

dentures.

********

MATERIAL : SHELLAC ( Florence compound )

Dark brown, black or red ochre.

Opaque.

Hard and brittle, smells of sealing wax if melted.

Usually moulded.

Decorative picture frames, 78 rpm gramaphone records, boxes

and Union cases.

********

MATERIAL : CELLULOSE NITRATE ( Celluloid, Xylonite )

Any colour, including mottles, pearls and special effects.

Transparent, translucent or opaque.

Usually very thin sheet. Hollow mouldings may be filled with

plaster to add weight.

Thin covering on mirror backs and other dressing table items. Fountain pens.

*******

MATERIAL : CASEIN ( Erinoid, Galalith )

Any colour, including mottles, pearls and special effects.

Usually opaque, but some translucency when used for mock

tortoiseshell and horn.

Hard. Sometimes smells of formaldehyde when placed in water.

Usually machined to shape, sometimes hot stamped into shallow shapes. Not moulded.

Coloured knitting needles, buttons and propelling pencils.

*******

MATERIAL : CAST PHENOLIC RESIN ( Catalin )

Any colour is possible, but rarely in white or blue.

Often translucent and marbled, seldom transparent and sometimes opaque.

Hard. The surface is often discoloured brown and will mark a tissue rubbed against it. May smell of carbolic when warmed.

Usually cut sections of rod, tube etc. Often carved.

Animal napkin rings and carved bangles. Also Carvacraft deskware and some American radio cabinets.

*******

MATERIAL : AMINO PLASTICS ( Beatl, Bandalasta, Linga - Longa, Beetleware and Melamine )

Any plain colour, but also marbled or speckled.

Never transparent, but can be translucent and sometimes marbled like alabaster. Beetleware may be translucent or opaque. Melamine is opaque.

Hard and brittle like Bakelite, but amino plastics do not discolour with age.

Always moulded to shape.

Bandalasta and Linga - Longa: colourful marbled picnic ware. Beetleware: pale coloured electrical plugs and sockets. Melamine tough colourful tableware.

*******

MATERIAL : CELLULOSE ACETATE ( Acetate, Bexoid )

Any colour, usually plain, but occasionally marbled.

Transparent,translucent or opaque.

Tough and slightly soft, may be flexible in thin sections. Often smells of vinegar, especially when warmed.

Normally moulded.

Films, some spectacle frames, Pedigree dolls and some toys.

*******

MATERIAL : ACRYLIC RESIN ( Perspex, Plexiglas )

Any colour, but pastel colours were popular.

Transparent,translucent or opaque.

Hard, not brittle. Smooth glass like surface that is easily scratched.

Normally fabricated by hot - shaping from sheet, but can also be moulded.

Shallow dishes, lamps, clocks, and transparent brooches with carving on rear.

*******

MATERIAL : POLYVINYL CHLORIDE ( PVC, Vinyl )

Any colour.

Transparent, translucent or opaque.

Soft and very flexible, though modern PVCs can be rigid and tough. Surface may feel tacky.

Leathercloth coatings or moulded.

Flexible squeaky toys, hollow balls, fashion belts and gramaphone records.

*******

MATERIAL : POLYSTYRENE ( Styrene )

Any colour. Pearl was popular for a while, as were streaky colour effects.

Transparent, translucent or opaque.

Hard and brittle, but sometimes toughened. Very tinny metallic ring when tapped.

Usually moulded.

Toys, self assembly models and cheap give aways.

*******

MATERIAL : POLYETHYLENE ( Polythene, Alkathene )

Any colour.

Generally translucent, but sometimes opaque.

Soft and flexible. Has greasy feel and can be scratched with fingernail.

Usually moulded.

Air tight food containers, toys and poppit bead necklaces.

*******

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Eric,

Thanks for the info. Now I must search the attic and basement for all questionable plastics!

Thanks Trey- I love this stuff...

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Oh-- and very valuable resource guide, MB-- even if it does conjure up an amusing image of you wetting and sniffing various plastics. Guess that's okay as long as you stay away from glue and paint thinners!

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Hey Bagels, sorry but I want to keep both, sort of a 'set' this way. Thanks anyway...

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