Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Vintage Catalin (Bakelite) Pencil Sharpeners

These Snow White plastic pencil sharpeners date from 1938 and were manufactured by Plastic Novelties, Inc. of New York. Each measures approximately 1.25" wide x 1.75" tall and .5" thick. Both the Snow White and Dopey decal images are marked with "© W.D. Ent."

Brown Catalin. Image courtesy of Rick Payne via dadric's attic. Used with permission.

Although these pencil sharpeners are often called Bakelite in reference to the type of plastic they're made from, the Catalin Corporation actually took over the patent from Bakelite in the late 1920s. A new manufacturing process was developed which allowed for a wider range of coloring. The name was changed to Catalin.


Amber Dopey. Image via Hake's Americana and Collectibles.

On the back of the green sharpener (below) there's an inscription in black “Moody/Commission/Company.” This is the only time Hake's has seen a Disney Catalin pencil sharpener with the name of a business stamped on it--probably used as a store premium.

Another example of the green sharpener, this one with no markings on back.

A couple rectangular variations of the Snow White sharpener.

This round example sports a completely different decal than those above. Measures 1.125" diameter x .375" thick. Possibly dates from the 1940s.


  1. Wow, I've got to do some digging---I think my grandmother gave me her childhood Snow White pencil sharpener many years ago (I think it was the rectangular one). Those look sharp! :-)

  2. Dan-- Very cool. Let me know if you find it.

    cajun-- I love vintage. :)