Cracks in Bakelite Telephones

Although vintage Bakelite telephones look fantastic once restored, Bakelite is brittle and if it is damaged it is almost impossible (and very expensive) to repair. When you are examining your antique telephone (before putting it up for sale or getting ready to buy it) look very closely at the Bakelite parts of the telephone for any fine hairline cracks.

Damaged Bakelite Telephone On 300 series British vintage Bakelite telephones a very common place for the Bakelite case of the telephone to be damaged is on the back right hand side of the case (see picture to the left).

This particular damage is caused by someone trying to remove the insides of the 300 series Bakelite telephone, without first removing the rear retaining screw inside the Bakelite telephone.

Other common areas of these vintage telephones to check for damage are the drawer blank, the screw on ear cap or mouthpiece and around the vintage telephone dial.

Damaged side of Bakelite Telephone

The damage to the antique telephone shown of the left is just about visible in this picture, however all too often cracks to these vintage telephones are not visible in a photograph and can only be seen when you examine the Bakelite telephone carefully under a good light.

Always check your vintage telephone carefully for these cracks. This type of damage makes a massive difference to the buying or selling value of an antique Bakelite telephone.