Bakelite Furniture

I recently purchased several boxes of wood furniture at a sale, looking through the boxes when I got home revealed many pieces of bakelite furniture. It isn’t marked for length but it’s the same size as stock wood furniture. Who made it and when?


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I’ve seen composition furniture of three different makes, one red, one reddish-brown, and one very dark brown, none marked.
Resalite is the only brand name I’ve seen.

This is the reddish brown, just wonder if it was better than wood, first time I’ve seen it in my short 40 plus years in printing. Guess I haven’t been around much.

Great stuff, I use it everyday. It won’t warp,distort. swell and it’s light in weight. I used to get it from American Printing Suppliers in N.Y. but they don’t sell it anymore and haven’t for at least 15 years. I would sure like to buy some if anyone has a source.

Never heard of or seen this before, have worked with aluminum furniture before, the stuff is really lite but it can get banged up easily.

Resalite, a composite material, light and clean, and very strong as well. Not Bakelite, which is a crisp material.

The picture I forgot

image: Picture 3.png

Picture 3.png

Look in any almost American Printing Equipment catalog of the ’70s or ’80s and there will be a listing for Resalite. APE imported a lot of European tools and material, but didn’t always identify manufacturers.
I have a double font of the dark-brown composition furniture but also a few odd pieces of the other kinds. Only one of the dark brown pieces shows damage, the layers coming apart and the surface going fuzzy, and I can’t imagine what caused that. The rest look almost new; compared to wood the stuff is indestructible.

Back in the day American Printing Equipment would make any size you wanted as well as fonts. I ordered, over the years, custom sizes, mostly 70 and 110 pica lengths. 2,3,4,5,6,8 and 10 pica widths. Back then we did alot of “J” cards for the audio cassette tape business and ordered 33 point x 70 and 110 pica Resalite from American Printing Equipment to be used as spacing between 2 scoring rules when manufacturing “J” cards. They would make ANY size you wanted, it would come in both brown and tan color (you did’t have a color choice) The last time I ordered it they told me they did’t make it any more, he said it was just too messy and dirty to cut and size. I always got the impression that Resalite was really “pheonlic” and they would size it and market it to printers. You can look up pheonlic on ebay and see it comes in all various thickness. Printers would want 5/8 thick. Sure would like to find someone with some extra for sale…. it’s great stuff.


This is the best you will ever find. I have several fonts of it and got rid of my wood furniture years ago. Aluminum speed furniture and Resalite and you are about as close as you can get to perfection, as far as it got.


Tell me how much a ten pound box of the lengths and widths you want will cost to send to the states. A rough guide of what you want to pay for it and your wish will probably come true as i have hundredweights of it most no longer than 8 inches .If you are after it then work something out. the only minus point i know of about resalite is that you cannot use it on foiling machines it goes all cake like and stinks to high heaven .

Resalite was made by the English division of Formica and marketed by Stephenson Blake. It is a phenolic board material. American sold SB products in the US, and the SB logo is very obvious in the photo previously listed. I had a dicsussion with Formica several years ago and they indicated that they phased this type of counter top material out of production back in the 1990s. American (AWT or their other name, American Printing Equipment & Supply) sold a lot of SB material, including type, and all the type cases American sold were SB products. SB shipped cartons of parts to American and then the cases were assembled in the US. I have maybe 40 or so cases of unopened case parts from SB addressed to American—the material dates from the 1950s but is of superb quality.