What kind of material is this?

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Project by Mlke posted 07-08-2010 12:02 AM 1589 views 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

it is extremelyyyy hard, seems to be some kind of plastic, but it also seems to have somewhat of a grain on the inside.
This salt shaker was given to my grandma in 1932 lol yupp 1932. so i have absolutely no idea what material this is…
it also seems like it was mounted on a lathe at some point- pic 4
Also, where do you think it’s from?

-- The hard work won't take too long, the impossible will take a little longer

10 comments so far

View Mlke's profile


119 posts in 3069 days

#1 posted 07-08-2010 12:03 AM

Thanks, Mike

-- The hard work won't take too long, the impossible will take a little longer

View Grumpy's profile


23997 posts in 3875 days

#2 posted 07-08-2010 02:00 AM

I don’t know but it is very ornate. First thought it looked oriental but perhaps the Americas’. Try posting it as a forum topic or a blog, you might get a wider response.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View blackcherry's profile


3338 posts in 3847 days

#3 posted 07-08-2010 03:02 AM

One can only guess, it appears like a burl and with it ornate appearance I would guess from a island. So my guess is Kona from the south pacific…BC

View EPJartisan's profile


1118 posts in 3150 days

#4 posted 07-08-2010 04:07 AM

I believe it is urea-formaldehyde. Had a short run in the 1920-1930’s, but discontinued due to toxicity as the resin cured. Sometimes wood fibers and dust filler was used to get colors and textures which mimicked wood grain. Developed in the same time period as Bakelite, which was not toxic. Guess which one made into the mainstream. If it is urea-formaldehyde… THAT salt shaker is worth a lot more than you think. My back ground is Industrial Design, my mind is filled with trinket of knowledge like this.. which I thought useless. If i am right maybe $60 grand of education was worth it… LOL.

-- " 'Truth' is like a beautiful flower, unique to each plant and to the season it blossoms ... 'Fact' is the root and leaf, allowing the plant grow and bloom again."

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile (online now)


18288 posts in 3700 days

#5 posted 07-08-2010 07:24 AM

What if you are wrong? 60k down the tube? :-))

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View savannah505's profile


1813 posts in 3611 days

#6 posted 07-08-2010 04:44 PM

This is possibly soy bean, back around this time, before plastic was made from petroleum, soy bean was being developed into a plastic also. If you remember some of the older cars had a pinkish brown knobs on steering wheel, window crank handles, etc. Those were made from soy bean. EPJartisan might be right also, definitely worth checking into. Good luck.

-- Dan Wiggins

View DanCo's profile


66 posts in 2923 days

#7 posted 07-08-2010 05:50 PM

Might be hapa wood. Lots of small tiki trinkets made from it.

-- Daniel

View bake's profile


384 posts in 3702 days

#8 posted 07-09-2010 05:27 AM

I vote for Bakelite.

-- I love the smell of Home Depot in the morning, it smells like.......carpentry. Bake, Bar Lazy U Woodworks, Lehi,UT.

View Doe's profile


1403 posts in 2854 days

#9 posted 09-05-2013 08:29 AM

Did you ever find out more about it?

-- Mother Nature talks, I try to listen

View Mlke's profile


119 posts in 3069 days

#10 posted 09-05-2013 10:28 PM

I would say it is either bakelite or soybean. It is artificial and definitely not any type of wood. But to be honest i’m not sure and it really doesn’t matter to me anymore lol

-- The hard work won't take too long, the impossible will take a little longer

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