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Bayko Advertising CardBayko History - From Idea to Product

A long spell in hospital today is very rare, however back in the 1920's it was quite a common occurrence, Charles Plimpton was caught up it this when he contracted tuberculosis ending up for several years in a sanatorium.

Bakelite an early plastic had already been around for 15 years. Charles had seen toy house construction sets that where around at the time as well as Meccano which as made in Charles home city Liverpool. During the time in the sanatorium Charles worked on the idea, but the time of his release in 1933 he had a plan of action

 in 1933 he patented the idea and in 1934 Charles established the Plimpton Engineering Company to manufacture the idea. The new product had a bakelite base which was perforated with a grid of holes, into which metal rods which at the time was called wires fit into. Between 2 wires bricks, doors windows etc could be fit to build a variety of building.

Charles named the invention "Bayko Light Construction Sets" the Bayko coming from the name "Bakelite" The first sets went on sale in time for Christmas 1934. The Bakelite material came from Bakelite Limited, for the first few years of its life, Bayko was marketed by both Plimpton Engineering and Bakelite Limited. Charles Plimpton found premises at, 15 Gibraltar Row, Liverpool 3, a location in Liverpool's industrial area just a few street away from the Docks.

Next 1934 -1939 The pre-war era under the leadership of Charles Plimpton

What is Bakelite?

The above Radio is made from Bakelite. This is an early plastic.its chemical name is  polyoxybenzylmethylenglycolanhydride, It is a resin, formed from an reaction between   and formaldehyde. It was developed by chemist Leo Baekeland in New York in 1907.

One of the first plastics made from synthetic components, Bakelite was used for its electrical non-conductivity and heat-resistant properties in electrical insulators, radio and telephone casings, and such diverse products as kitchenware, jewelry, pipe stems, and children's toys. Bakelite was designated a National Historic Chemical Landmark in 1993 by the American Chemical Society in recognition of its significance as the world's first synthetic plastic. The "retro" appeal of old Bakelite products has made them collectible.

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From Wood and Card to Bakelite

Above is a building from a Construction kit of the 1920's called Moraco, the parts are made of wood or card. Charles Plimpton had seen this system, while he was in the sanatorium he worked on adapting the idea to Bakelite