In addition to the radio interviews, here are several videos that provide facts and personal observations about Leo Baekeland and his wife, Céline that were not included in the film, All Things Bakelite: The Age of Plastic. The videos were created before the film was completed. Some are by John Maher and some by Hugh Karraker. All are edited by John and the film’s editor, Craig Mikhitarian.
- Cornelia “Dicki” Baekeland Bagarotti
- Nancy Byck Welch Remembers
- Loretta Gardner Memoir. Former Bakelite employee
- Joseph Zuccarelli Memoir. Former Bakelite employee
- 2009 Roundtable Research Session
- WPKN Interview #1 with Pete Stewart (radio)
- WPKN Interview #2 with Pete Stewart (radio)
- WPKN Interview with David Schwartz and Dolly Curtis (radio)
Cornelia “Dicki” Baekeland Bagarotti
This video was shot in 2008 by Hugh Karraker at Dicki’s home, “Les Oiseau” in Tarrytown, New York. Cornelia “Dicki” Bagarotti, daughter of Cornelia Middlebrook and George Baekeland is shown as a young woman and in her 80s.
In 1939, Dicki married Gerhard von Hessert and gave birth to son, Christian. Christian married Donna Smith and they had three daughters, Vanessa, Linnea and Rebekka.
Dicki and Von Hessert divorced and she married Hans Ditesheim. Following his death, she married world renowned violinist, Giovanni Bagarotti and the couple settled in their estate in Tarrytown. Giovanni passed away in 1994.
Dicki’s two brothers Brooks and Frederick are deceased. At 100, Dicki is bed ridden, conscious and cared for by several wonderful people.
Other videos of family members are being created for this website.
Nancy Byck Welch Remembers
Three short video interviews with Nancy Byck Welch, daughter of chemist Larry Byck, who worked for Leo Baekeland.
In the spring of 2016, a remarkable piece of Baekeland/ Bakelite history was brought to our attention by the daughter of a chemist who worked for Leo Baekeland. The chemist’s daughter, Nancy Byck Welch located Hugh Karraker, Executive Producer of All Things Bakelite and great grandson of Leo Baekeland through Jessie Fowler, a Bakelite jewelry designer and Costume Jewelry Collectors International.
In three short videos with interviews from Nancy and family photographs, Director, John Maher and Editor, Craig Mikhitarian, tell the story of Larry Byck and “Dr. Baekeland.” Experience this amazing and until now, unknown story in these three short video clips —
The Embed Art Company
At Perth Amboy, a division of the General Bakelite Company was molding Bakelite (phenolic resin) into household objects. Working as a chemist in the research and development division (R & D), Larry followed his artistic talents by embedding artwork, photographs, lettering, etc. into the resin creating pendants and paperweights. He also found that by dipping Bakelite beads into multiple synthetic coatings of nacre (ground up pearls), he created what appeared to be natural pearls. These creations were sold under the name, Embed Art.
The business folded in the mid ‘20s. Larry moved with Bakelite to Bound Brook, NJ and found other creative outlets in photography, gardening, music. He also raised a son, Larry and a daughter, Nancy. In 1957, Larry passed away while still working for the Bakelite Division of Union Carbide Corporation at Bound Brook. Nancy possesses a varied collection of her father’s creations.
Loretta Gardner Memoir
In this video, Hugh Karraker interviews Loretta Gardner, a former employee of the Bakelite Corporation in Bound Brook, New Jersey.
Joseph Zuccarelli Memoir
John Maher interviews Joseph Zuccarelli, longtime employee of The Bakelite Corporation and Union Carbide/Dow.
2009 Roundtable Research Session
In 2009, John Maher conducts a roundtable research interview with five employees at the Union Carbide/Dow facility in Bound Brook, New Jersey.
WPKN Interview #1 with Pete Stewart (radio)
Interview conducted by Pete Stewart, of Bridgeport, CT’s community sponsored radio station, WPKN, with Director, John Maher and Media Manager, Marc Huberman on April 7, 2017.
WPKN Interview #2 with Pete Stewart
Interview with Pete Stewart, of Bridgeport, CT’s community sponsored radio station, WPKN, with Executive Producer, Hugh Karraker and Director, John Maher on April 1, 2019.
WPKN Interview with David Schwartz and Dolly Curtis (radio)
Interview with Dolly Curtis, engineered by David Schwartz of Railroad Dave Radio, on CT’s community sponsored radio station, WPKN with Executive Producer, Hugh Karraker, Director, John Maher and Media Manager, Marc Huberman on April 7, 2019.