Unique Lucite Handbags
There are many collectors of Lucite handbags. This is one area of collecting in which condition is most important. And while Lucite bags are durable and quite sturdy, when stored under poor conditions, they tend to develop cracks, warping and the overall breaking down of the plastic. The Lucite handbag is one of those rare accessories that just seems to be a symbol of the time in which it was created. Lucite had been developed by Dupont in 1931, but it wasn’t until after WWII that the hard plastic was used to make jewellry and handbags. It was a new age, and modern materials and design were thought to be the wave of the future. Lucite handbags were introduced in the late 1940s, and they quickly became the evening bag of choice.
Lucite was in many ways an ideal material for making bags. It could be made in many colors, it was easily shaped and carved, and things, such as glitter and rhinestones, could be embedded in it. On the downside, while the material itself was not expensive to produce, the processes in making the handbags were labor-intensive and costly. As a result, the handbags were not cheap, a fact that often adds to an object’s desirability! There was also a great deal of competition within the plastic purse market, which led some companies to develop even more costly additions such as built-in compacts and satin linings.
It was the development of a cheaper process, plastic injection molding, that led to the demise of the Lucite handbag. With this process, hard plastics could be shaped into handbags at a fraction of the cost of the older methods. When hard plastics were within the reach of all consumers, they lost a great deal of their appeal. By the 1960s, hard plastic handbags were passé.