Salt and Pepper Shakers

These salt and pepper shakers belonged to Leo Baekeland, the inventor of Bakelite, the first totally synthetic plastic. They are made of pure Bakelite resin, not the resin mixed with cellulose fillers, as was usually the case with molded bakelite items. As a result, these shakers are a pretty, bright amber, not the more subdued colors found in most Bakelite objects.
Currently not on view
Object Name
salt and pepper shakers
Baekeland, L. H.
inventor of material
Baekeland, L. H.
Physical Description
bakelite resin (overall material)
salt shaker: 36 mm x 17 mm x 37 mm; 1 7/16 in x 11/16 in x 1 7/16 in
pepper shaker: 42 mm x 18 mm x 37 mm; 1 5/8 in x 11/16 in x 1 7/16 in
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Domestic Furnishings
See more items in
Medicine and Science: Chemistry
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of Plastics Institute of America
Additional Media

Visitor Comments

Add a comment about this object

Submit a comment or ask a question about this object using the form below. Submissions are moderated and may receive a curator response. Please note that we cannot evaluate or appraise your personal artifacts. For other questions or general inquiries please visit our FAQ or contact page.

Personal information will not be shared or result in unsolicited e-mail. See our privacy policy.

Enter the characters shown in the image.