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1939 New York World’s Fair Bakelite Souvenir Pin

Title1939 New York World’s Fair Bakelite Souvenir Pin
Object Name1939 New York World’s Fair Bakelite Souvenir Pin
Manufactured ByUnion Carbide Company
Description1939 World Fair Souvenir pin from Bakelite. Trefoil shaped and translucent peach with small hole in the center for a stick pin. The pin has information on recto and verso imprinted in mold. Recto: Symbol for World's Fair and white pin head with the text "New York World's Fair, Bakelite" Verso: Bakelite makers mark. "Molded on H-P-M Injection Machine made by The Hydraulic Press Mfg. Co. Bakelite " This is one of the first non-phenolic products to bear the Bakelite name. In 1939 the Bakelite Corporation was absorbed into the Union Carbide Corporation (UCC), which produced Vinylite and other products. The valuable Bakelite name was now and forever given to a wider range of plastic products, including injection molded thermoplastics. Despite the fact that the World’s Fair opened at the end of a decade of economic depression and on the eve of the Second World War, it joyously celebrated the world of the future. In this context plastics were prominently featured, and especially evident in the many plastic souvenirs. There was a Bakelite Pavilion so there are many Bakelite souvenirs. This pin with popular image of the Trylon and Perisphere was given away to visitors. The symbol of the fair was extremely popular. The combination of classic geometric forms and modern design struck a chord of optimism with Americans and foreign visitors. This pin ingeniously uses the ball on top of the stickpin thrust through the plastic shield to create a 3-dimensional representation of the Perisphere. The symbol was widely used on jewelry, novelty items, tobacco-related items and toy and games.
Date Manufactured1939-1940
Manufacturing ProcessInjection Molded on H-P-M Injection Machine made by The Hydaulic Press Mfg. Co.
Number of Objects1
Accession Number2003.1000
DonorGift of National Plastics Center.
Broad SubjectNovelty, Promotional and Souvenir Items
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