Here is a quick little test to determine whether you are holding a piece of Bakelite in your hand:
1. Wet a finger.
2. Rub the suspected Bakelite, in a singlular spot, for 20 seconds or so.
3. Hold it up to your nose. Does your nose detect "burnt rubber?" Yes! It's Bakelite. No . . . it's plastic.
This is an effective little "Bakelite" test for when you are hunting and gathering and need to know in a hurry.
And, just to recap . . . Bakelite, pre-"plastic," was used to make everything from telephone parts, silverware handles, radio cases, dominoes, syrup pitcher handles , buttons, bracelets, costume jewelry, kitchenware, cufflinks, door handle sets, napkin rings, fountain pens, lamp bases . . . So if your instincts say, "it's old" and looks like plastic, give it this quick little Bakelite test to confirm your suspicions!