Bakelite was developed by Dr. Leo H. Baekeland, and it was patented in 1909. There were several colors of bakelite. Bakelite colors, however, do change with age. Most pieces, which collectors identify as Apple juice yellow, were originally colorless, and white Bakelite mellows to a creamy ivory color. Bakelite can be transparent, translucent, or opaque. Bakelite tends to be heavy. The more translucent the Bakelite material the more brittle it becomes. Bakelite can be transparent, translucent, or opaque. Bakelite tends to be heavy. Bakelite is also known as products of Catalin, Prystal, Marblette, and Durez. Bakelite is very hard to come by for a pen blank and expensive.
Catalan is a cast bakelite product, with a different manufacturing process (two-stage process) than other types of bakelite resins. Catalin is transparent, nearly colorless, so unlike other bakelite phenolics it can be dyed bright colors or even marbled. This has made Catalin more popular than other types of bakelite. Catalin was not a durable product. It tended to shrink and crack as it aged.