In 1909, Belgium chemist, L.H. Bakeland devised a resin that hardened into a tough, dense material. The result was “Bakelite”, a precursor to plastic.
Adolph Rickenbacker poured this resin into a guitar shaped mold and created the Bakelite steel guitar.
The horseshoe magnet pickup provides enormous volume and rich tone, and Bakelite’s mass density causes these lap steel guitars to ring and sustain forever.
Bakelite models with white cover plates are known by collectors as the “panda” model. It is favored by players like David Lindley and Feet Rogers.