I will have to disagree on several points
Re: Re: Correct Date of Invention. -- Beadman Post Reply Edit Forum Where am I?
Posted by: Rosanna Post Reply
10/28/2017, 22:30:08

On Celluloid (cellulose nitrate):
Celluloid was not universally replaced by cellulose acetate (CA), except in some applications that had significant problems with flammability, like movie film, and that was around 1950 (info from Wikipedia). In referring to my 1943 Handbook of Plastics by Simonds and Ellis, there are a good number of listings for the trade names, properties, etc for both materials. These two plastics have different properties. At this point I don't have documentation of any beads made from CA and so can't comment whether Celluloid beads stopped being produced in favor of CA, and when that may have occurred. I only have a few Celluloid beads and other articles, and don't think any of them are actually CA - but I'll be doing more testing on that point.

Celluloid is more dimensionally stable than CA, when exposed to moisture, since it absorbs less, so perhaps CA beads did not work very well - just don't know . I don't have any more technical clues about bead manufacture of either material at the moment.

I'm assuming that the Sachse cards are pre-1920, and I have a 1912 ad for celluloid beads, so the best I can do right now is assume Celluloid beads existed in the early 1900s. I believe Celluloid beads, buttons, etc were still being made right into the 40s, or even later, but I'm still researching this.

I apologize for any confusion about when the earliest beads may have been made from Celluloid. I once saw someone claiming their beads were made of Parkensine, a celluloid trade name that dates from 1862. At this point, I'd say the earliest date of Celluloid beads is unknown, but yes, likely after the commercialization of Parkensine.

On cast phenolic resins: These were being made commercially by the "teens". My contact in London says there were ads for Faturan, for example, in 1917. I hope to confirm this next year when I'm in London. There is documentation of significant cast phenolic resin production in England by 1919. Again, I have no firm info on when the first beads were made from phenolic resins. I'm still looking. I think pre-1920 phenolic beads exist, though it may be impossible, ultimately, to find confirmation of this.

I don't feel responsible if people take this to mean THEIR phenolic beads may be pre-1920, if that's what you're getting at.

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