Sunday, January 13, 2013

Celluloid Toys

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Celluloid Toys

    It's funny how you can be familiar with something yet not realize what is is made of.  Ping pong (table tennis) balls are made from celluloid. Aside form that, the only thing that I can remember being made of celluloid was perhaps my sister Brenda's dolls.

   Celluloid was invented  by Mr. Alexander Parkes in Birmingham England in 1855. The material that he invented was transparent, and hard but flexible. Sadly, Mr. Parkes had several bankruptcy failures, and and wasn't able to become wealthy through this marvellous invention of the time. Mr. John Wesley Hyatt acquired Mr. Parkes' invention, and with some experimentation was able to patent a method for covering billiard balls on April 6, 1869. Up to that point in time, billiard balls were made from ivory. The history of the further development and advancement of the material is very interesting, and I would suggest reading the article in Wikipedia, from which I used the written material. The material was considered the precursor to plastics.

(Please click on the above link to be redirected to Wikipedia)

(PLease press on the above address to be redirected to a fine and outstanding website for toys)

The 2 toys above have transparent celluloid windshields

I'd  completely forgotten abou the Cartoon character Henry.
I used to read Henry and many other long-forgotten comic characters inthe newspaper.
I remember Al Capp's Li'l Abner, and my all-time favourite is Larson who created a myriad of "weird characters" and situations that kep me laughing every day. 

The combination of firmness with flexibility, and being able to dye the transparent material made celluloid an effective material for many things aside from toys.  The material was lasted for a long time before plastics overtook this material.

Thanks for visiting, 
and have a nice part of the day wherever you are, and also have a great start to the work week.


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