BAKELITE MUSEUM

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Tizer
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BAKELITE MUSEUM

Post by Tizer » 16 Jul 2016, 10:35

I took photos last week while on a visit to the Bakelite Museum at Williton in Somerset. It's a one-man business run by a somewhat eccentric chap who has done a good job of gathering lots of items made from Bakelite. It's in an old gypsum mill building and he's a bit threatened now by Health & Safety issues and so it's good to get some of it on record in case it has to close. His web site is here: Bakelite Museum For information, Bakelite was one of the first plastics and was developed by the Belgian-American chemist Leo Baekeland in New York in 1907. It is made by reacting phenol with formaldehyde to make a resin.

Here's a view of the entrance:
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This Trabant car has a body made out of Bakelite:
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This is an odd story!
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Vacuum cleaners...most of the following photos should be self-explanatory
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Believe it or not this `butterfly' is an electric fire!
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Re: BAKELITE MUSEUM

Post by Tizer » 16 Jul 2016, 10:41

Not Bakelite! But hidden in a corner some bricks carved into shapes:
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The museum also houses some rural artefacts. The curved objects are wheelwrights' planes:
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Re: BAKELITE MUSEUM

Post by Tizer » 16 Jul 2016, 10:44

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Re: BAKELITE MUSEUM

Post by Tizer » 16 Jul 2016, 10:48

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Ornithological egg cups!
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We loved these swirly colours which you don't see so often in modern plastics, looking a bit like marble or serpentine
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Re: BAKELITE MUSEUM

Post by Stanley » 17 Jul 2016, 03:34

I wonder when collecting goes over the edge into obsession......
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Re: BAKELITE MUSEUM

Post by PanBiker » 17 Jul 2016, 09:26

Some fabulous objects there Tiz. I have one of them myself in the shape of a Bush DAC50 wireless that I refurbished, there is a cream example in the display, mine is bakelite mahogany! It's fully working and you get a nice smell of a combination of warm plastic and dust when the valves get up to temperature and it springs into life. I see they have a couple of the Pifco planet radios as well, I would love to have one of those.
Ian

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Re: BAKELITE MUSEUM

Post by Tizer » 17 Jul 2016, 10:09

I guess our obsession gets called`the British Disease' among foreigners but at least it means we keep the smaller everyday items of our heritage. Ebay too has done a good job of recycling and conserving such stuff. Ian could always contact the Museum man and make an offer for one of the Pifco planet radios - having more than one he might be glad to exchange one for some cash!

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Re: BAKELITE MUSEUM

Post by Whyperion » 17 Jul 2016, 23:46

My childhood rubber bucket (and spade) for the seaside was a multi swirl. Chinese? plastic still comes in white with choice of green, red , blue or yellow swirls, I think the cheapy pound value type place near Duke Bar in Burnley had some the last time I walked by.

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Re: BAKELITE MUSEUM

Post by Marilyn » 18 Jul 2016, 00:09

What an amazing place...

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Re: BAKELITE MUSEUM

Post by Tizer » 19 Jul 2016, 07:06

Did you read the notice about Dorothy Bowen and her `Lucite' Bakelite balls? Amazing what went on in the recent past! The bit at the end of the notice refers to a photo of her leaving the sanatorium after 5 years of treatment - sorry that isn't in the shot but I can tell you she looked fit as a fiddle.

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Re: BAKELITE MUSEUM

Post by Marilyn » 20 Jul 2016, 10:29

I was going to make a comment about Dorothy ( and did look to see if there was a photo). I am pleased to hear she did so well...luck of the draw with experimental cures!
Some 25 + years ago I had an operation on my knee that was called a "tendon transfer". When I had recovered I asked the surgeon what it meant and where the tendon had come from. I was told not to ask. He refused to say.( said I didn't need to know)
I often wonder about it, as I didn't seem to have any tender area signifying it came from another part of ME! ( you would expect some tenderness from a donor area).
Only recently, after 25+ years, the knee clicks painlessly when I straighten it, and I wonder what I am supposed to say to anyone if it ever needed investigating.

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Re: BAKELITE MUSEUM

Post by Tizer » 20 Jul 2016, 19:42

I listened to a radio programme today about the American man who first worked out how to store blood plasma so that it could be used to treat wounded soldiers during WW2. He was `of African descent', i.e. black, and at that time they wouldn't let black people give blood, so it was ironic that he was responsible for such an important development. Dr Charles Drew

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Re: BAKELITE MUSEUM

Post by Stanley » 23 Jul 2016, 06:09

I was revising this topic and reflecting that it's a museum of my childhood! I particularly remember the Rototherm thermometers.
Slightly off piste but I noted the mill shaft with the wooden teeth. These teeth were often made of fruit wood like apple but the best ones were Hornbeam, a very tough wood. Down at Keele the university site is heavily wooded and they look after the trees and name the most important. Here's a magnificent Hornbeam, they named the building after it!

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