Before I get into the post for today, I just want to direct your attention to an interview I did with my friend Julie Glover. She has a series of posts called Amazing Words Wednesday where she picks a topic about the English language and discusses it. Sometimes they make you laugh and sometimes they make you think! Today, she interviewed me about our Word of the Week posts and how antiques and collectibles have a language all their own. She had some really great questions, so please do me a favor and pop on over to her blog to check it out!
Today we are going to be talking about this:
Simichrome is a polishing paste that you can use to test an item to see if it is Bakelite. I’m not going to do a WotW post on what Bakelite is because Black Dahlia did one that I certainly won’t be able to top.
You can use Simichrome to polish metal, but we most often use it to test Bakelite. You simply clean the surface of whatever it is you want to test, take a paper towel with some Simichome on it, and rub it on the item. The paste is pink, but if your item is Bakelite it’ll turn it a brownish-yellow color.
There are other ways to test Bakelite, but some of them can be detrimental to the piece or not particularly effective. Just note that this isn’t a perfect process, even if you use Simichrome. It won’t work on some black pieces, and sometimes if your piece is dirty it can discolor the pink of the paste.
This is still the preferred way to test for Bakelite, though. And I find it kind of fun!