31st August 2021

Frederick Spencer Dalton

An Australian Plastics Pioneer

F.S. Dalton

Frederick Spencer Dalton (1888-1939), made the first bakelite moulding powder to be produced in Australia in his backyard. He had left school aged 13, but returned to Sydney technical college in 1916 to do a chemistry course. In 1917 he began producing plastic buttons for haberdashery shops and for army great coats from a small factory in Pennell Lane, Marrickville. He listed two companies in quick succession.

Dun’s Gazette for New South Wales. – 12th August 1918.

Dun’s Gazette for New South Wales. – 14th October 1918.

From a larger article in the Sydney Morning Herald, 23rd May 1949 page 2. 

He then experimented with producing phenolic laminates in 1920. Later he worked for Metters Company moulding bakelite plastic items such as knobs for pots and pans.  In 1928, Spence Dalton again ‘went out on his own’ to form the company H. Dalton & Co, still moulding plastic products.

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