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What is Daka-ware?

Posted by Marketing Manager at Davies Molding

Aug 24, 2016 3:19:08 PM

You may have seen posts on our social media accounts or website that reference Daka-ware.  Most likely, you haven't heard the term before and are wondering where it originated from and what it means. We would like to give you a brief Davies Molding history lesson to explain Daka-ware.

Where did the name Daka-ware come from?

As you probably already know, Davies Molding has been around for a long time. We've been designing and manufacturing insert-molded knobs, handles, cases and custom components since 1933. We have over 80 years of thermoplastic and thermoset molding experience! When we were molding products in the 1960's, we used Daka-ware as a trade name.

Daka-ware referred to our line of compression molded phenolic knobs, handles and ashtrays. Yes, you read that correctly, ashtrays- they were quite popular at that time. Daka-ware, phenolic parts, can withstand much higher temperatures than ABS or PVC plastics. We still have tools that have the Daka-ware name on them, so chances are, you will still come across the Dakaware name when you see a Davies knob. Here is how it all came about.

History of Dakaware

In the 1940s, Davies Molding introduced a groundbreaking material for our products: Bakelite. Bakelite, thedaka-ware world's first synthetic plastic, revolutionized the molding industry. Recognizing its vast potential, Davies Molding began producing a line of high-quality molded products using Bakelite under the brand name "Daka-ware.

The 1950s and 1960s witnessed the golden era of Daka-ware. With its superior quality and unmatched durability, Daka-ware products gained immense popularity across various industries. The brand became synonymous with reliability and precision, attracting a loyal customer base.

As the molding industry continued to evolve, so did Dakaware. We expanded our product offerings, incorporating new materials and technologies. The brand started utilizing thermosetting plastics, such as phenolic and urea, which offered enhanced versatility and improved performance.

Today, Daka-ware continues to be recognized for superior quality and a rich history in the molding industry. Davies Molding has embraced new materials, advanced manufacturing techniques, and cutting-edge technologies to meet the ever-changing needs of the industry. Our products have evolved to include a diverse range of components, handles, knobs, clamps, and more, serving industries like automotive, electrical, and industrial manufacturing.

With over eight decades of expertise, Daka-ware has left a mark on the molding industry. We continue to have a commitment to innovation, exceptional craftsmanship, and unwavering quality standards which has solidified our position as a trusted name among manufacturers and engineers.

To learn more about Davies Molding, please visit


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Topics: History of Davies Molding

Daka-ware: a brief history of Industrial Knobs

Posted by Marketing Manager at Davies Molding

Dec 12, 2013 9:47:25 AM

We recently received an email from a history buff inquiring about the brand name Daka-ware and how it's related to Bake-lite, another name brand in the plastic molding industry.  In his email, the history buff explained that "Daka-ware is a common search on search engines but there's no real official answer". So we created this blog post to help fill in some of the gaps of this topic and provide a (hopefully) helpful "official" answer.  

Dakaware CatalogIn my discussions with Derran Smith, president of Davies Molding, he explained it this way: Dakaware was a trade name used by Davies Molding in the 1960s for a line of compression molded phenolic knobs, handles, and ashtrays. We still have tools that have the Daka-ware name on them, and we have a few hundred of the Dakware ashtrays in stock (available for purchase!).  See the vintage catalog on the left and on the right, a picture of a "vintage" looking daka-ware control knob. Dakaware Knob

Bakelite, on the other hand, is a brand name of a specifically formulated phenolic material created by a Belgium chemist and has been recognized as the first synthetic plastic by the American Chemical Society (according to the Bakelite wikipedia page) But similar to the Kleenex brand, the Bakelite name became genericized, and was used throughout the plastic molding industry to describe all phenolic material regardless of the brand, much like how we use kleenex to describe all facial tissues. Check out the picture of The Harry Davies Company (now Davies Molding) with Bakelite, along with other brands of plastic molding material, advertised outside its doors. Davies Molding History

Interested in more history on Davies Molding?  Check out some of these links: 

Interview with Derran Smith, President of Davies Molding:

Infographic on Davies Molding History:


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Topics: History of Davies Molding

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