Catalin is a phenolic resin, similar to Bakelite (developed in 1907 by the Belgian chemist Leo Baekeland in Yonkers, New York), but Catalin contains different mineral fillers that allow the production of lighter colours.
Catalin was developed and trademarked in 1927 by the American Catalin Corporation of New York City, when the patent on Bakelite expired that year.
Catalin is heavy, quite greasy in feel, and as hard as brass. Catalin picks offer a strong, bright, and balanced tone.
Unlike other phenolic resins, Catalin, called at the time “the gem of modern industry”, does not contain fillers, such as sawdust or carbon black, but is transparent, rather than opaque, and can be coloured in bright colours or even marbled. This characteristic has made Catalin more popular than other types of Bakelite for consumer products.