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[American Catalin Corporation] A trademark for cast phenolic resin products produce from the early 1930s to the mid 1940s. In 1926, the Catalin chemists developed a clear formulation for phenolic resins that could be cast into shapes. Using synthetic dyes, Catalin products were produced in 15 colors and since no fillers were used the pieces were semi-transparent. These colorful pieces were used for jewelry, radios, desk sets, and novelties. They were in distinct contrast to the dark, opaque, Bakelite products that were used mostly for utilitarian pieces. Catalin objects shrank approximately 4-5 % within a few years of production resulting in numerous cracks. The resins also yellow significantly when exposed to ultraviolet light.


Catalin FTIR.PNG

Synonyms and Related Terms

cast phenolic plastic; colored bakelite

Sources Checked for Data in Record

  • Hermann Kuhn, Conservation and Restoration of Works of Art and Antiquities, Butterworths, London, 1986