Bakelite with Kimberley Freeman
This episode, Anna talks to vintage jewellery enthusiast and friend of the show Kimberley Freeman about Bakelite. Invented in 1907, Bakelite was one of the first plastics, and was quickly adopted in new-fangled electronic goods like telephones and radios, as well as by hardcore fashionistas. It eventually got overtaken by other plastics like polycarbonate, so today the only places you’ll find it are on people like Kimberley and in museums. In the episode, we inconclusively tested plastic bangles for fakes by tapping and sniffing, and discuss why even jewellery choice can show patriotism in wartime.
Kimberley has worked in public engagement and science communication for over eight years, and is currently the Director of the Centre for Public Engagement at Queen Mary University of London. She is also obsessed by plastic jewellery, and spends most of her time wearing, buying, and searching for amazing vintage and modern plastic treasures. She is 34, lives in London, is a comic book and vintage sci-fi enthusiast and has been collecting vintage plastic jewellery since 2005.
Check out Kimberley on Instagram.
Find her jewellery blog here.