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Bulb & Socket Bases
View images of the most well known bulb and socket bases

Socket & Electrical Manufacturer's Items And Their History
GECO Sockets
This section will allow you to date and learn how to tell one GECO socket from the other.

This is where this site started from. Since this page was done, there has been much more Hubbell history and information found which will make for a complete redesign of this page and section in the soon future.
Hubbell Patents
This section has some early patent research on Hubbell. It is mostly complete with only a few missing patents which will be added in when this section is re done into the new format
Wheeler Reflector Co.
A history of The Wheeler Reflector Company and tips on how to tell if mirror has been replaced on a shade
Other Manufacturers

This section is a lot of incomplete work and will be updated shortly. For now it serves to give you some extended information on some companies, but will be a much better tool when it is complete
This section is everything you ever wanted to know about the National Electrical Code (NEC) but had no one to ask. Downloads of old NEC's, meetings and much extended information is provided.

Cord Balls & Adjusters

My cord pendant adjuster project, as well as a good history about them.
GECO Sockets

More companies will be added to this list in the near future. We will also be adding a new list of post 1900 sockets and items.

Bergmann & Co.

Brush Electric Co.
Bryant Electric Co.
Crown Elect MFG Co.
Holmes & Gale (HG)
Tutorial And Early Lighting History

The Lighting Time Table

To read the entire tutorial, you can just click on the first link and then continue to the next section at the bottom of each page. Or, you can select links below of interest to you.


Overcoming Obstacles

About Early Electric Lighting, Generators, Arc Lamps, The First Edison Socket, Menlo Park, etc.
The First Fixtures
About The Start Of The First Incandescent Lighting Fixtures
Light Reflection
About Early Light Bulbs And Candle Power vs. WATTS
About Sigmund Bergmann And The Start Of Bergmann And Company Lighting Fixtures
Lighting Break Down
A Quick Break Down Of Different Lighting Time Periods
Styles 1881 to 1884
Bergmann Fixtures And Styles
Other Pre-1888 Styles
About Early Companies That Sold Lighting Systems And The Fixtures That They Sold With Their Lighting Systems
The U.S. Elect. Co.
The United States Electric Company History And Early Items
The Brush Elect. Co.
The Brush Electric Company History And Early Items
The Thomson-Houston Electric Company History And Early Items
About The Westinghouse Manufacturing Company History And Early Mergers
Mid 1880's Styles
About The Start Of Electrical Supply Houses and how new lighting styles came about
Pre 1900 Sockets
About Early Light Sockets And How To Tell The Difference
1887 New Items
1888 New Items
1890 New Items
1891 New Items
1892 New Items
1893 New Items
1894-1896 Items
1897 New Items
1898 New Items
1899 New Items
Above are catalog items sold in different years. There is no space to duplicate items, so only new and unique items from each year are shown. You would need to view the catalogs for yourself to be complete as I am only highlighting items. You can view catalogs here.

Victor Shade Holder
About The Victor Shade Holder, Atwood And The Standard Holder

I.P. Frink 1899 Items
About Frink & Wheeler
New Wheeler Inverted
Three Links About Mirror Reflector Manufacturers And Their Items And History.
Wheeler Reflector Co.
NEW - A history of The Wheeler Reflector Company and tips on how to tell if mirror has been replaced on a shade

Early Desk Lamps

Some Help In Telling Them Apart

Vitrite And Luminoid

About The Vitrite Holders And Early Vitrite History

Brush-Swan Holder

About Brush-Swan Shade Holders

Cord Balls
My cord pendant adjuster project, as well as a good history about them.


About 1900 Styles
This section covers a basic into into the 1900 section covering information about the 1899 transition, electrical code changes, lighting influence, sharing and licensing of patents and then into the new section of electrical specialty manufacturers,

Electrical Specialty Manufacturers
Harvey Hubbell
This section covers some early history periods of pre Hubbell-Grier, Hubbell-Grier, Harvey Hubbell, Hubbell Company. It also covers a number of items that helped change lighting styles,

This section covers some early history periods for the Benjamin Electric MFG. Co, as well as a small section on Dale and The Federal Electric Company

Federal Electric

This post 1900 section continues to be under current construction

Please Check Back.





This page was created for a dual purpose:

First, simply for the need of documenting different insulating materials and compositions.

Secondly, to have a place to file and link the overflow from the Bergmann socket sections.

It is because of the Edison and Bergmann socket research, that I was forced down the road of learning about different insulating materials.

I soon learned that there was so much confusion on this topic, stretching back as far as the mid 1800's forward to our times today.

While we do have accurate testing methods and understand more today, most of the current confusion that I refer to is historical and stems from written and documented statements that were made in the early days. This section will be used to link to and from the Bergmann socket sections, while documenting and attempting to clear up some of this confusion.

It will also serve those looking for general information relating to insulating materials during the 1800's until about 1930.

This small introduction explains the reason that this page exists, and will provide a bit of basic knowledge that will be the key to understanding this section much easier.



You will notice the work getting done as you see the items below linked and working.

Check back from time to time to see the new information being linked.

Also many linked items (with only a small blurb for now) will be expanded, while some others will soon turn into their own sections.

Solids   Natural Asbestos  
Natural Solids

These insulation materials are all natural and are not man made in any way. The hard materials can be carved, clays can be hardened and natural gums used as coatings.

In the early days, it was common to use carved wood for sockets, switches and other electrical items. Slate and marble were commonly used for switch bases.

It was quickly realized that new more convenient insulations were needed, and many of these materials began to be ground up and used as inert ingredients in newly invented and different types of molded compositions.
Fire Clay    
Gums & Resins    
Soapstone Steatite
            Artificial Lava / Lavite  
  Fabricated Solids   Vitrified Materials Glass  
                      Porcelain Dry Process Porcelain
                          Wet Process Porcelain
                      Vitreous Enamel
                    Fibrous Materials Cellulose
                      Fiber Impregnated Fiber
Fabricated Solids
Vitrified & Fibrous Materials

In the early 1880's wood was the common insulator for electrical supplies. O
ther natural (and vitrified) materials were also used, but these were more costly and new and improved inventions were sought after.

Vulcanized fiber was one of the more common insulators for electrical supplies until the early 1890's, at which time porcelain became the more popular and insulator of choice.
    Vulcanized Fiber
    Gelatinized Fiber
    Treated Fiber
    Bitumenized Fiber
Impregnated Asbestos    
                      Paper Asbestos Paper
                      Fish Paper
                        Bakelized Paper
                        Treated Paper
                  Molded Compositions Asbestos Compositions  
Fabricated Solids
Molded Composition Materials

By the mid 1880's many new compositions were being tested and used (of which vulcanized and hard rubber became the most popular). These molded compositions would commonly use a hard natural solid material, mixed with a heated plastic, resinous or
solidified liquid.

Cold molded compositions were also invented which used a chemical binder, or sometimes a chemical, oil or other ingredient to break down a natural plastic (asphalt, rubber, etc.)
, or resinous material.

Fabricated Solids
Hard Rubber Substitutes

The vulcanization of hard rubber was a great breakthrough in rubber made products and was widely used. However, hard rubber (vulcanized rubber) was a costly product, so It was not long before many new black (rubber looking) compositions were invented (some good and some bad) as hard rubber substitutes.

Note that even though other products such as vulcanized and gelatinized fiber were marketed as a substitute for hard rubber, this was more in the sense of a direct "replacement" for hard rubber. For this reason they do not belong in the list of substitutes. I have only added the products that tried to mimic or duplicate the product.
Asphalt / Bitumen Compositions
Hard Rubber Ebonite
Hard Rubber Substitute Dielectrite
Molded Mica  
Pitch Composition  
  Synthetic Resins Bakelite
Plastics   As Used Asphalt Bitumen  
Plastics - Natural / Modified
Viscous / Liquid (Bitumen & some pitches)

Many plastics were used as binders to make up compositions. The rubber products could be mixed with sulfur and vulcanized. Depending on the process both hard and soft insulating materials could be made.
Caoutchouc (Rubber)    
Gutta Percha  
  Liquids   As Used Animal Oil  
                  Mineral Oil    
                  Vegetable Oil  
                  Solidified Enamel    
Liquids - Natural / Modified

While liquids are normally not thought of as an insulator, they play a large part in the mixture of compositions and the breaking down of different compounds. Solidified liquids are those that are applied in a liquid state and dry as a solid. Insulators such as varnish and shellac are often times used to impregnate materials, or simply fill voids and provide a seal.


Asbestos (hydrous silicate of magnesia)

Natural Solid - Melting Point 2,200 - 2,300
° F

Asbestos is a natural formation of a fibrous rock mineral, that takes up as much as two-thirds of the earth’s crust.

It can be found as a component in many metamorphic and igneous rocks. While the fibrous content is clearly evident, most of its makeup of long thin fiber minerals are microscopic.
Asbestos is a mineral consisting chiefly of silica, magnesia, lime, alumina water and oxide of iron. Asbestos gets it name from the Greek meaning unquenchable or inextinguishable, because of it's natural heat resisting properties.

While proven to be quite dangerous and is seldom used today, it was a major component in many early compositions and insulation materials (because of its fibrous nature and heat resisting qualities). It is unaffected by oils, acids and alkali and can withstand high temperatures.

There are six different types of asbestos and two categories of rock types that they fit into. Five of these (the more dangerous) are categorized as amphibole and the remaining (chrysotile) is categorized into a group of rocks known as serpentine.

The serpentine is not as dangerous as the five amphibole varieties, because its fibers are softer and less likely to cause as much damage. Amphibole asbestos becomes a danger when the long thin brittle microscopic fibers break and become air borne. The fibers do not easily dissolve or breakdown and they can remain airborne for quite some time.

The fibers will eventually settle into soil, dust, or other materials such as carpet and can become air borne again. When breathed into the lungs, the stiff hard fibers embed themselves into lung tissue. It is because of their durability and stiffness that they will remain in the lungs for long periods of time causing serious damage.

Asbestos Movie - Published back in 1959
What does asbestos look like?

Here is a short movie about asbestos that I found on Google movies.

It was published in 1959 by the US Department of the interior - Bureau of Mines.

The film was made as an Introduction to Asbestos

It describes how asbestos is mined and processed. Using diagrams and on location shooting, both open pit and block carving methods of mining asbestos are described, followed by a detailed examination of how the fiber is milled and undergoes its change from crude ore to refined fiber. The remainder of the film deals with the numerous ways this versatile mineral enhances our daily lives, from roofing materials to automobile brake linings. Note several mentions of dust control, but no specific mention of the occupational asbestosis, lung cancer or mesothelioma, diseases caused by inhaling asbestos dust. Asbestos manufacturers knew of these diseases by the 1930s.

Here are the six different types of asbestos:
Chrysotile (serpentine rock)
Amosite (amphibole rock)
Crocidolite (amphibole rock)
Tremolite (amphibole rock)
Actinolite (amphibole rock)
Anthophyllite (amphibole rock)



Asbestos itself can maintain its mechanical strength up to about 1,830° F and can recover itself after being cooled. It will melt and loose its structure from 2,200 - 2,300° F

When asbestos is used as the main inert ingredient in a composition, it can add to the compositions hardness and sometimes help absorb some heat.

However, the melting point of the composition will greatly depend on the binder being used to hold the composition together.


Below is a short incomplete list of known compositions that used asbestos and its derivatives

Allard's fireproof felt Asbestonit De Pont Substitutes
Dermatine Ekert's High Pressure Composition Karavodine's process
Kempeff Hard Rubber Substitute Unvulcanized Packing Washers Vulcabeston
Vulcanine Woodite Rubberbestos

To view other known compositions, patents, ingredients, etc., you can view my known compositions lists on this page by clicking on the link here.


Asbestos Paper
Most of the manufacturers of all of the different types of insulating products, branched into different uses. Paper that was covered, coated or
impregnated with asbestos. Vulcanized fiber and other insulating materials had their paper products, which were used for many different purposes. These different types of paper came in many different thickness and forms. Thin sheets of this paper could be made bendable or brittle depending on the use. Some products were made for lamp plugs to insulate and cover the bottom between the prongs. Inside of sockets as liners, wrapped around furnace duct work, etc.. Asbestos was used in thicker fiber board as well as roofing which was simply a thick asbestos paper product. Later asbestos paper and fiber papers (fishpaper) was replaced by cardboard in socket liners as well as other insulations. Note worthy is the fact that other papers such as vulcanized fiber is still in use and being sold today.

Asbestos paper is manufactured using an asbestos base and is soft and flexible with not much strength. It is hygroscopic meaning that it will attract water molecules from it's surrounding environment through either absorption or adsorption.

Asbestos paper can withstand a constant temperature of
500° F before breaking down.

Impregnated Asbestos
While normally asbestos is used to either harden or give heat absorbing properties to other ingredients in a composition, asbestos itself is also commonly impregnated with different binders and/or chemicals to add to its properties as in the treated paper below.

Treated asbestos paper
A variety of treated asbestos paper that was known as Delta sheeting was impregnated with a black insulating compound which softens at about
240° F and melts at about 400° F.
It is claimed that from 2,500 to 5,000 volts is required to puncture it, in thickness of 10 to 25 mils

Some patents for asbestos paper

Filed Sep 17, 1880 - Jane Meiiriam, of Milwaukee Wisconsin
Asbestos paper

310,205 Fabric for covering heated surfaces. — H. W. Johns.
Consists of ropes or rolls of fibrous materials, woven with sheets of paper, sheathing

310,334 Asbestos paper.—S. Tingley.
A sheet of asbestos paper is covered on one or both sides with thin paper, coated with a salt, which will form a glaze when heated to high temperatures.

Elastoid Fibre Was Asbestos Paper

While on the topic...

Noteworthy is this quote for quality vs. money...

Did General Electric change from the good old vulcanized fiber linings to cheap asbestos paper
, because they tested them and found them to be better? OR - Did they at least check which one had better electrical properties? Did they test them at all ??? OR was the move to paper ONLY based on money?

Here (shown below) is a quote from G.E. in a court hearing under oath...

That the "Only" reason for change to these new liners was for the money




Asphalt - Bitumen (carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen)

Also Known As:

Asphaltum, Asphalt,
Asphalte, Glance Pitch, Gum Asphaltum, Trinidad, Elaterite, Gilsonite, Byerlyte, Emtage and Manjak

Natural Viscous Liquid
- Bitumen 90 to 100% Pure (except bitumen with a low petrolene content)
Natural Plastics
- (Bitumen 30 - 90% Pure

Just as a starting point: Bitumen or the use of it is nothing new, as we read in a real old book (the bible) "Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch.". (Genesis 6:14 KJV)

The English word "pitch" is from the Hebrew word "kopher" which is bitumen.

Also, sometime before 562 B.C. Nebuchadnezzar, a Babylonian king, used it to pave a short ceremonial roadway.

The most popular source of bitumen closer to our days and times (19th-21st century), would be the Trinidad pitch lake which is shown in the first photo on your right.

The Trinidad lake actually sits over the throat of a (so called) extinct volcano.

This 114 acre lake of asphalt (bitumen combined with clay), has been producing an endless supply of bitumen now for hundreds of years.

It produces both hard and soft bitumen of which is strong enough to walk on.
Even though you can safely walk on the soft areas, if you parked a car on it, you would not be able to find it within 48 hours.

Also, workers can remove a large section of a foot or two deep and within no time at all, more bitumen bubbles up to take it's place.

This lake was known by Christopher Columbus in the 1490's, but did not pay it too much commercial attention since his main interest was in finding gold.

About another 100 years later, Sir Walter Raleigh was given a tour of the lake and he immediately recognized the value of the discovery for caulking his ships. He noticed that it didn't melt in the sunlight like the traditional Norway pine pitch they were currently using. Even though he noticed it's value, it did not develop into any significant world wide interest for the product.

About 150 years later (In 1849), the potential of Trinidad asphalt was seen by Admiral Thomas Cochrane, the Earl of Dundonald, who commanded the Royal Navy’s West Indian squadron. He was a man with endless imagination and energy, which is seen from the large number number of inventions credited to his name. One of his early inventions was a new kind of street light. He tried to use the bitumen to pave streets, but he never figured out how to process it properly and his efforts came to a sad failure. However his testing sparked interest and others began to test it and work on these processing issues.

A little over a decade later in France a way to process it successfully was invented. It was in the 1880's that its real industrial use began along with using it for electrical insulation and making up different compositions both insulating and for paving.

By 1900, Trinidad was exporting thousands of tons of raw asphalt to the United States and was fast becoming a favored material.
In the early days (1880's and early 1900's) there was much about bitumen that was still unknown, which caused confusion about it and products that were being developed. It was because of the fact of people (including chemists of the time) not fully understanding exactly what it was that the term "asphalt", had been so misused during these early days. At the time any black sticky pitch material that could be melted down and used as a binder, was being called "asphalt".

can be found in geological formations all over the world, and will always differ one from the other in their chemical composition and properties. They all however share the luster and shinny appearance of a pitch.

Petrolene Content
Pure bitumen is considered a viscous liquid. However, as it becomes less pure (or has a low petrolene content) it is categorized a harder solid with much higher melting points. A sample being termed "less pure" is not a bad thing, as it still has a content of "pure" bitumen with the remainder being all organic substances. This means that a sample can be processed or refined to a much better quality, all depending on the need and what product is being made. Bitumen with a low petrolene content would not only be much harder and brittle, but also melt at much higher tempters. For this product to be of much use, it would need to be refined by having petroleum "residuum" and or heavy oils added to it.

Bitumen refers to the natural mineral without the addition of foreign substances or pitches.

Asphaltum refers to the mineral pitch that is of a higher grade then asphalt, but still not as soft as pure bitumen.

Asphalt refers to the natural but less pure (harder) samples of bitumen of which the most popular would be Trinidad.
Note that asphalt (as well as the others shown above) also includes the refined product. Refining is simply where different processes are used to separate some of the natural impurities, to produce a more pure bitumen.

Asphalte refers to natural limestone that mixed with natural bitumen

Asphalt Products & Trade Names are materials in which real Asphalte (those shown above) are purchased and then mixed with other ingredients making up different compositions.

Asphalt was used in the manufacture of insulating varnishes, japans, impregnation of non-waterproof insulating materials, insulated covering for cables and as a binder for different molded compositions.

Pure bitumen consists of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen with the properties close to carbon 85, hydrogen 12, and oxygen 3.
Bitumen's share a color of deep black, with a slight touch of red. When at boiling temperature it has a strong aromatic odor.

Pure Bitumen
- Melting Point 120° F
Under 50° F it is solid and brittle
From 50 to 70°
F it is soft and plastic
From 70 degrees to 90° F it has a pasty consistence
From 90 degrees to 120° F it is glutinous
Over 120°
F it is liquid
The gravity is about 1.03

Depending on the purity level and what the exact composition of the actual natural bitumen is, there will be different melting points. Also, taking into account of trade products and recipes of different compositions, some inert ingredients can either excelerate or slow down melting points. From testing that has been done in the past we can at least derive at some basic ranges, even though some may be spread far apart because of such quality differences.

Pure Asphalt (meaning bitumen that is in solid form) softens at from 195 to 210° F
Byerlyte (certain grades) melt at temperatures ranging from 200 to 350°
Gilsonite has a melting point that varies varies from 230 to 400°

Here are some tests that I have compiled together, to give the reader a basic concept of the purity or hardness of different sources and locations. You can use the above melting and softening points of pure bitumen as a reference, as well as the following: Bitumen that is from 90 to 100% pure normally ranges from a paste type consistency to a very thick liquid. Also, bitumen that is from 90 to 30% pure, ranges from pasty to hard and brittle. Note that there are samples of almost pure bitumen with a low petrolene content, which makes the more pure sample harder, as well as raising the melting point.

Source / Sample / Type
Bitumen Present
Melting Point
Trinidad Manjack
not available
Barbadoes Manjack (Merivale)
0.68 organic dust, 2.32 ash
Trinidad Glance Pitch
4.56 organic dust, 7.44 ash
Mexican Asphaltum
mineral matter (ash) 0.3, carbon 0.2
Utah Gum Gilsonite
mineral matter (ash) 0.5, carbon 0.1
Bermudez Asphalt
mineral matter (ash) 2.0, carbon 4.0
Bermudez Asphaltum, Refined
mineral matter (ash) 4.50, non-bituminous organic 4.28
Standard Asphalt, California
mineral matter (ash) 0.3, carbon 0.2
Trinidad Natural
mineral matter (ash) 36.8, sulphur 6.5, carbon 0.7
Refined Trinidad Pitch
carbon 9.72, ash/earth 28.30, sulphur 10.00, water 0.17
Refined Cuban (soft)
carbon 7.98, ash/earth 19.51, sulphur 8.35, water 0.13
Refined Cuban (hard)
carbon 66.03, ash/earth 16.60, sulphur 8.92, water 0.11
Cuban (crude pure)
mineral matter (ash) 21.4, carbon 3.5
mineral matter (ash) 5.7, carbon 0.2

Here are some movies found on Utube of a vacation and tour of the pitch lake.


There were many different compositions that used an
asphalt binder.
The most popular would be common roofing materials, however molded electrical items and supplies were also used widely at a really early date.

Stephen Allen
My first example would be it being used with a type of vulcanized fiber invented by Stephen Allen of Woburn (and later Duxbury) Massachusetts. Allan was a long time paper manufacturer (see patent no. 38,020 March 1863), started improving his products and inventions in patents 1880 and 1881 where he started making his 'leather' product by mixing fiber rags, paper, bark and other ingredients with asphalt which was his process. His basic bitumen / asphalt base composition invented and patented Jan. 1883 (patent no. 278,481) material for roofing purposes, was now being molded and used for electrical conduits (patent no. 284,794 July 1883) calling it "a composition". The product was much like rubber and hard rubber and could also be vulcanized. By 1885 as seen in patent no. 337,472 he is now far underway molding and casting many different shapes for a variety of different electrical uses. (also see a note about this composition here)

Asphalt based compositions were not new to Edison, as his use of these materials predate his electrical inventions.
In the early years Edison experimented and used different compositions for his other inventions, such as his phonograph in the late 1870's.

I can document several uses and testing of different asphalt binding compositions through the electrical years, but the best example is a laboratory notebook that I found belonging to Charles Batchelor (shown right).

The entire notebook contains his experiments and notes which were written in his own hand, with exception to the first page.

The first entry was by Edison in which he wrote some instruction about a molded composition.

Edison told Batchelor that he could get a sample of the molded material from Bergmann (he gives his address).

Edison then describes the molded material as made from hard asphalt (Cuban or Syrian) mixed with a large percentage of kaolin (a natural clay material). It is then pressed in a hot polished brass mold from about 350 to 450
° F.

NEW added
In the section for the Bergmann moving tongue socket no. 2, I took some more time to cover the topic of 'Lava' and bring up some additional points, as well as a few more documented references of in use asphalt. You can go directly to this section and part using this link.

Below is a short incomplete list of known compositions that used asphalt, bitumen and its derivatives

Artificial Elaterite Jungbluth's Compound Sorel's Compound
Guttaline Rubber Asphalt Asphalt, Artificial
Insulite Kempeff Hard Rubber Substitute Tabbyite
Liconite Theskelon Cement Copal

To view other known compositions, patents, ingredients, etc., You can view my known compositions lists on this page by clicking on the link here.


LAVA - Artificial Lava / Lavite / Soapstone / Steatite / Talc / Etc...

You will also want to cover the topic of soapstone, since there is so much confusion on this topic.
Even when it comes to actual "Soap Stone" and it being used as an insulator can be confusing, since it was most always used in a composition form after being ground up into a fine powder.

Volcanic Lava
It was this first topic that got me started researching different stone and rock, in hopes to identify an early insulating material in an Edison / Bergmann patent (311,100) that was being called "Lava" (talked about on the site here). Then again describing yet another material as "Soap Stone" in another Bergmann patent (341,723) for a switch, .

A serious problem in my mind came up, when the fragment test samples from both materials melted during low temperature testing. Of course the raw materials withstood the testing, which sent me down the long road of learning about different compositions. In some cases (such as soap stone) there were compositions being called by raw materials name. Then in other cases (like lava) the composition was just named lava for it's properties or appearance, without having any actual "lava" content at all.

I am not a geologist or an expert on different types of rock, but I have now done lots of research and have put in many hours of reading and study on the topic. I learned that different types of Lava rock, are grouped together into one category called "Igneous" (Latin for fire) rocks. While these are all 'lava' - each varies a bit in texture and color.

When I first started my study, I read the comforting quote:

"At the most general level, rocks fall into three great categories, and they're pretty simple to tell apart. You won't even need a rock hammer or hand lens, though those are fun to have."

The three basic categories of rocks which are: Igneous Rocks, Sedimentary Rocks and Metamorphic Rocks.

Once you identify what category your rock is, the rest is a cake walk.
In this case "Igneous Rocks". These Igneous rocks now break down into three more categories which are easy to tell apart by the coloring, grain size, texture and hardness.

Artificial Lava
After spending so much time and learning all about real 'Lava' stone, you can imagine how disappointed I was to learn that Bergmann did not use "lava stone" at all as we know it today.

During this time (early 1880's) some electrical supplies were being made of a newly invented composition and manufacturing process, named in it's patent as "ARTIFICIAL LAVA". However, an important fact is that it was made from soft metamorphic rocks and not the igneous rocks that someone would envision.

This substance can, and has, caused confusion for those of us reading patents by different electrical manufacturers.

Namely those that specify in their patents that they are using an insulating material such as: soap stone, lava, steatite, talc, etc.. The reason being is that ALL of these terms can also be referring to the "Artificial Lava" invention. Even though soap stone, steatite or talc is really soft and can be easily tooled, it is almost always referring to it as ground up and mixed into a composition, and almost never the real raw materials that we all think of. In the case of "lava", I have never read once so far of it actually being used in any composition. It is a stone that would be extremely hard to work with.

After talking to other researchers on this topic, it is also even more clear that the term "Lava" was used extremely loosely in the day. This looseness of terms could have made it possible for Bergmann and others to identify or call different insulation materials by the wrong substance names.

WHY ALL OF THE CONFUSION? - More about Artificial Lava...

When you think of LAVA, you would automatically think of an igneous rock that is already known to absorb heat.

You would envision a rock that is hard but porous (with a texture like that of a piece of hard bread), that easily chips and breaks.

You would NOT be thinking of metamorphic rock or mineral such as soap stone or steatite (the softest stone known) which is so soft that talcum and baby powder is made from it.

The fact is however, that soap stone, steatite, talc and artificial lava are all basically the same thing.

Even though these are the same mineral, the differences in the names simply identify how they vary in quality or softness (talc content) and to identify different grades (which are then used for different products). For example a real soft stone could be used for powder or carving art pieces or statues, while a harder less pure sample would be used for a table or laboratory counter top.

I have now collected and tested different samples of this stone from all over the U.S.A and the world to examine and identify different qualities, colors and properties.

I will provide my soap stone research in a few minutes and then show how it all compares and points to artificial lava.

As already stated above, there was some confusion being brewed as seen in some patents and publications of the time.

While researching, you will read where some inventors or manufacturers of different electrical supplies prefer to use "soapstone", while in another you might read "talc", "steatite" or "lava".

Note of course that there are also other insulating materials mentioned such as ebonite, hard rubber, wood, glass, porcelain, different types of fibers, (and the list goes on and on), but for now we are only interested in this lava term.

After some time had passed (about a decade), it is evident that at least one person (Burton E. Baker of New Britain Connecticut) thought it important enough to point out what exactly he meant by the term "lava" in his 1894 patent no. 526,605. This is shown in a partial capture from the patent shown on your right and linked above for anyone wanting to read more of it.

So, here (as shown above on your right) we read that it was a "well known" product in the day, and that it was being sold "under the name of lava".

Evident is the fact that Mr. Baker knew that it was NOT "lava", but only being called lava (obviously for marketing purposes).

Basically there are two patents to read if you wish to learn more about this "artificial lava".

It was an invention of Demetrius Steward who formed the D.M. Steward M.F.G Co..

The first patent that Steward filed for this artificial lava was August 22nd 1882 which was approved on February 6th, 1883. It was assigned patent number 271,994. On May 1st 1883,

Steward made some additions to his first patent and had it reissued which was approved on June 19th 1883 and then assigned the new patent number RE10,344.

It is important also to understand the scope of this

Notice that in the above announcement in The Electrical Engineer that Steward is praised as the inventor of 'lava' insulators and that at this time in 1895 "Millions" are in use.

Within a short time other "lava" companies and businesses started, battled had legal issues, etc..
The two largest and most popular of these companies after a decade were the DM Steward M.F.G Co. and the American Lava Company both of Chattanooga Tennessee.

By this time we RARELY see the terms "ARTIFICIAL LAVA", in fact, just the opposite as seen below

The above is acceptable only if read in the context of ...the lava that we have been using on electrical supplies for years, is not real "lava" like everyone thinks. It is really a mineral called talc and not "lava" at all!

Next we have a definition from the Standard handbook for electrical engineers published in 1908 by McGraw N.Y.

"Lava" is not a mineral called TALC.

Talc is a completely different class of rock then lava.

If they were both at least in the same class of rocks, it would be like calling a german shepherd dog a poodle.

They would both be dogs, but completely different breeds.

However, in this case it is like calling the German shepherd an alley cat.

Just as all are animals consisting of dogs, cats and horses, are these rocks that split into different groups.

Lava is one of a 'bread' of Igneous Rocks (dogs) and soap stone is one of a 'bread' of Metamorphic Rocks (cats).

I apologize if you may feel that I have gone overboard on this topic, as I rightly do feel some righteous anger on the topic.

Rightly, "Simulated" OR "Artificial" Lava (which in my opinion does not even have the right to be named such)
is a mineral called TALC.


In May of 1902 Steward took on a trade name for his simulated lava product, now officially calling it Lavite.

Around this time the D,M. Steward Manufacturing Company supplied the following information: Lavite is a light buff or cream-colored insulating material, Density, 2.5 to 2.7; electrical resistivity, 500 to 2.500 megohm-cm.; disruptive strength, 200 to 250 volts per mil; modulus of rupture, 6.000 to 12,000 lb. per sq. in.; compressive strength, 20,000 to 30,000 lb. per sq. in.; compares with glass in hardness; not affected by temperatures up to 1,000 deg. cent.; unaffected by acids except aqua regia.

SOAPSTONE - Soapstone / Steatite / Talc / Etc...

You will also want to cover the topic of Lava, since there is so much confusion on this topic.
Even when it comes to actual "Soap Stone" and it being used as an insulator can be confusing, since it was most always used in a composition form after being ground up into a fine powder.

Soapstone comes from the third category of rock called Metamorphic Rocks.

There are two different minerals popularly called soapstone.

These are steatite and talc.

Soapstone basically gets its name from being a soft stone with a smooth feeling texture.
You can run your fingers across a piece of raw soap stone and feel how smooth it is (like a dry bar of soap).

Steatite soapstone is a harder stone because while it does contain talc, it is also composed of several other minerals which makes it a harder stone. Being the "harder" soapstone, it is mostly used for sinks, flooring, countertops and other architectural applications. Soapstone is impenetrable, it does not stain because liquid can not permeate its surface. This is one reason why soapstone (steatite) is commonly used in chemistry labs and acid rooms.

Also, noteworthy is that steatite in its initial raw form, only comes in shades of gray.

Talc however can be found in a variety of different colors from light or white, then moving through different shades of grays, greens, reds and browns that are translucent to opaque (Talc also has a greasy, soapy feel).

The more popular type of soapstone is talc (without many of the added minerals that steatite has).
Talc is the softest mineral on earth when ground up into a fine powder. It has been used in the manufacturing of tooth paste, baby powder, chewing gum, lubricants, cosmetics and countless other applications.

This softer more high grade stone is most popular for carving sculptures and has been used as such since ancient times.



A good test that I have discovered that has proved to work for compositions with a high soapstone/talc content, is LIGHT.

When comparing soapstone to lava, fiber, or other composition type materials (which are not translucent at all), only soapstone will allow the light to pass through it. However, please keep in mind that all soap stone is not the same and all is not translucent. For this reason, I can't guarantee that this light test will work on all soapstone samples. Also it is possible that other compositions could be transparent, such as Bakelite which came around years after these Bergmann items.

It has however helped for these Bergmann examples, as well as an 1886 Westinghouse socket and a Schaefer socket dated 1885. Both of these I had previously thought to be brown fiber or other type of composition material. So, needless to say, I will be updating the main web pages with this new find as well as starting a project to identify different composition materials and how they were made.

I had the idea for this light test when I noticed that a Bergmann switch (the type that was first applied for patent on Jan. 8th 1883 and assigned patent no. 341,723) claimed to use "soapstone" for the base (as shown below).

I had one of these that had a broken base, but never really paid much attention to it before. I now had an intense interest, because (unlike my sockets) I had something that I could carve a small sample off from to experiment with.

Electrical Switch - Patent No. 341,723

The first thing that I noticed from some small pieces that easily broke loose (shown on your right), was how translucent they were. It was also easy to notice on the switch base edges and a hole had been previously drilled.

The second thing that I noticed, was how easy it was to cut or carve from the edge of the base. You could not do this with the lava or many other hard compositions. In fact when I was testing lava, I stroked an edge part with a fine metal file. When I blew the dust off the spot, it had not even left much of a scratch.

While carving or shaving the soapstone, I also noticed the obvious talc flakes and soft powder residue. As shown below on the left, small flakes that look and feel like soap. On the right seen on the side of the base a fine talc powder type residue.

Shown on your right is the switch after running the carving and chipping tests.

I provide this picture so that you can see that it was a smooth easy cut / carve, which ends up only being a new shape on the carved item with no real distress.

I do not recommend this kind of testing on your sockets. I was happy to have this broken switch of which I donated only one small corner edge for experimenting. I have talked to some that have tested small areas of their unknown materials with a small fine file or knife. PLEASE, do not do any damage your sockets. Try using the light test below, which works great for soapstone and matching the colors.

If light does not shine through, the rest of this page should help with nailing down what materials you have in your socket.

If by chance you find a material not shown on this page, please contact me with good pictures and descriptions. I will do my best to help you identify any unknown materials that you may come across on any Bergmann item.


I should also mention that I will be adding my heat tests at a later date for lava, soapstone and other compositions. My heat tests will include both softening and melting points of different compositions, as well as demonstrating how different properly vulcanized hard rubbers can be heated to a few thousand degrees and then recover and be used again (while other substitutes and less expensive imitations just melt away). The point here though is that in my soapstone heat and flame testing, my ground/powdered talc will glow red and not combust or burn away into nothing. This soapstone composition does the same after the binder melts away and consumes, the talc that is left just sits there and glows red for ever.


For this test I use a powerful LED 115 lumens flashlight.

When testing actual sockets, you will need something strong enough to focus a powerful beam of light directly into a small area. For example: I tried some Bergmann sockets (with threads attached) in all different directions; through different holes or spaces, and got ZERO results.

It was not until I took the threaded sleeve off (the one held by two screws) that I got any results at all.
So, I guess I am saying is that if you are testing, be sure to use a strong enough light. Also, to be sure to get right up to the edge of your item (touching your light to it and holding it at different angles) to get proper results.

On the switch test example below, I actually set the switch on top of the flashlight and shine it through an empty hole.

Here are some captures of some shavings taken from the switch base above, compared to shavings from a raw soapstone sample under a microscope. You will mostly notice the talc right away, which is the white soft flaky material. Next when different levels of light are put to the samples you will notice that there is no possibility of this being anything else but talc.
Other soapstone and talc samples match up to color as well, as you will notice while comparing the raw soapstone pictures shown above with the sample sockets that I show below.







The best place to start might be the correct spelling of "fiber" or "fibre" of which both are correct. The spelling more common in the early days was "fibre" which is of a French origin and the way someone in the UK or Canada still spells it today. Our way of spelling "fiber" here in the United States is of a Germanic origin. It is also the way most European countries without a Latin language origin such as Germany, Holland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, etc. will also spell it. The correct English (UK) spelling is 'fibre' just as our early spelling was. I do not know when it changed, but in this case it does not make a real difference on this page, as along as you are aware that we are talking about the same thing. There is no difference between the product fibre or fiber, other then the spelling(.) Since we are dealing with history as well as company names, products, advertisements and quotes which spell it both ways, I bring this point up first so that the reader does not go crazy trying to make sense out of it.

Vulcanized Fiber was (and still is for the most part) very widely used. In the early days It was made of cotton based paper pulp, which was chemically dissolved (using zinc chloride) and solidified under enormous pressure. It was not soluble or harmed by ordinary solvents such as alcohol, turpentine, ammonia, etc.

It first came out in the early days as both hard and flexible or soft fiber. The hard fiber resembled horn and was exceedingly tough and strong, while the flexible fiber had the appearance of a very close grained leather. It worked great as an insulator in dry places, but because it absorbed moisture it did not work as well in areas that were damp or out in the weather. For this reason it is common to see vulcanized fiber parts that are varnished or shellacked (shinny looking), as shown the close up picture of the tack on your left. As you can well see, this tack had been coated to protect it from moisture.

Vulcanized fiber was made in three basic
colors which were red (the most common and most loved), black and or gray (which was made to look like hard rubber) and white, which was marketed as an imitation horn product. Brownish gray was also common for the imitation leather vulcanized fiber products which came in many other colors. A sample of the soft red vulcanized fiber (fish paper) is shown to your right, which was used to insulate tacks used to safely nail down and hold wires in place. Those shown here are the same design and patent as invented by Charles Chandler Blake as seen in patent no. 662587. Noteworthy is an early patent for this basic concept by Luther Stieringer (patent no. 420635) where he uses a coating of black japan insulation over the nail and the insulating material (called a "saddle") which the patent instructed could be made of "wood or vulcanized or gelatinized fiber".


As stated above, vulcanized fiber was an invention made from paper and or paper pulp, however later some fiber inventions also added different vegetable fibers and vegetable based textile fabrics. The list in one later patent included the following substances: "By this process all forms of vegetable fiber or tissue may be treated, such as sized or unsized paper, paper-pulp, whether from rags, wood, or other material, cotton - wool, lint, and cotton - shoddy; also, fabrics made from any of them".

In a nutshell for starters (I will go into more detail below later), there was hard fiber which was most always marketed as a substitute for hard rubber. In the early days (1870's and early 1880's) this product was simply known as "vulcanized fiber".
As more manufacturers came onto the scene (mid 1880's), different manufacturers had their own names or trade names for vulcanized fiber. For example "vulcanized fibre", "hard fiber", "horn fiber", etc. The many different types of fiber products, company names and their advertising, can be seen in the trade names below and at the bottom of this section in the adverts.
In the early days there was a war on trade names where one would be called 'vulcanized fiber' another 'horn fiber', 'kartavert', laminar, etc.. It was not until a court case with 'indurated fiber' that they woke up to the fact that these trade names were not really legal. It was not until this landmark case that insulating materials could safely start being called what they were by any manufacturer, without the fear of infringement of a broad trade name.

When hard vulcanized fiber first started being made, it was thought of as a 'great product' and was widely received as the "latest and greatest". Almost every person or company that used it, developed a great love for it, its colors, texture and all of its uses in general. As time went by and improvements were made, it is noteworthy that some improvements were only called 'improvements' in order to get around patents or current registered trade product names. I also personally believe that some inventions were simply accidents that were understood by others and then later improved on. The first real improvement was the invention of gelatinized fiber.

Gelatinized fiber was a new type of 'higher quality' fiber. It started to become more popular among those that already loved the regular vulcanized fiber, as well as creating many more converts to fiber in place of hard rubber. Gelatinized fiber was the first vulcanized fiber that could be molded since it no longer used layers of paper. This new fiber was also at first called by a trade name which was "gelatinized fibre". As this new type of composition fiber began to catch on, other manufacturers developed their own recipes for similar gelatinized products. Later as knowledge increased, gelatinized fiber (in general) progressed to an even harder and cleaner product of which (for the most part) had an all cotton composition. This fiber was again called by different trade names such as "vul-cot", "egyptian fiber", etc.. Some of the softer fiber products were called fish paper, trunk fiber, letheroid and mostly marketed as imitation leathers or insulated paper products. For example the insulating staples as shown above. For more information, see the item below under gelatinized fiber.

So the basics of product quality and product progression over time went from:
(1). Paper sheets pressed together
(2). Scraps and paper, pulp, linen, etc. being ground up into a powder for molding.
(3). To a cotton like paste that could harden more solid, and hold together much better then those products before it.
There were still some applications and products that required different types and manufacturing methods of vulcanized fiber, this quality progression timeline is only meant for the gelatinized type of fiber compositions. Each manufacturer had a full line of different fiber products, which were used by different industries.


You will find many different uses for all of the different kinds of fiber products down through the years. In the early days (pre-1890) both vulcanized and gelatinized fiber was used for socket innards until porcelain became the favorite and standard insulating material for that purpose.

It is important to know however that even though vulcanized fiber products were at an end for socket insulators, it was just beginning for many other uses.

A good example of this would be products of special uses such as nonmetallic bulb guards.

Some industries require protection while at the same time need to remain 'spark-proof'. Factories that were full of fumes needed to be 'vapor proof' to prevent explosions. For this glass screw on and air tight covers were made for fixtures in case bulbs were to break or to explode. For portable work in places like these, metal guards would have been to dangerous as they could short against terminals and create a spark. Another example would be flammable places such as auto garages or gas stations. Using metal guards in places like these could also cause sparks and possible fires. For anyone that was cautious in these areas Benjamin Electric Co. sold a nonmetallic guard that was made of red gelatinized fibre. Benjamin started selling this guard in 1907 and is still found decades later in their 1941 Benjamin Catalog.

While Benjamin used hard fiber for this product, other companies that produced soft fiber products (such as letheroid or trunk fibre) found no problems with producing the same type guard using their materials as shown below. Benjamin used fiber in some of their plugs, it was also used on many other items such as meters that had test leads or parts that needed to be shaped, tooled, etc.. Gelatinized fiber was mostly used for these tasks also because of it being able to be highly polished. The red color is almost always a dead giveaway, but sometimes when horn or ivory is to be imitated white would be used (also black to imitate popular hard rubber products).

Below is only a small number of examples for different fibre uses.


comparing older vulcanized fiber with new vulcanized fiberVulcanized fiber was the first and original product of the first "Vulcanized Fiber Co." And was used commonly for many different commercial grade applications, such as washers, gaskets, gears, handles, etc.. After incandescent lighting was invented and began to become popular, this first invented vulcanized fiber product was also considered to be "electrical grade" fiber. However, a new gelatinized fiber was invented which (in the electrical world) quickly became the new "electrical grade" fiber. Later, when gelatinized fiber products made from 100% cotton started to be advertised, it became what was termed "electrical grade" fiber. This newest cotton fiber could also be more flexible and suitable for layer and ground insulation. Though other materials quickly replaced vulcanized fiber for electrical switches, sockets and other uses, it is still being made today and widely used for different electrical purposes. As shown in the picture on your right, it has not changed too much when compared with a sample from 1886 (bottom), and a thin sample of fish paper that I obtained new in 2009 (shown on the top). Fish paper came in many different thicknesses, and is simply thin layers that was used for old style plugs to slip over the prongs and cover the wire and screws, insulation inside of socket shells, etc.. Fish paper was made from rag stock that was put through the chemical treating process, which caused it to become a hard (but flexible) fiber-like paper which was very strong.

Gelatinized fiber was an invention of William Courtenay and first sold by himself and a partner (William Trull). They sold the new gelatinized fiber in their business partnership which was called the Courtenay & Trull Co.. It was gelatinized fiber that basically solved many of the problems that vulcanized fiber had. While vulcanized fiber could not be molded, it could be cut, filed, drilled, etc. However, it had serious problems with chipping and cracking. Gelatinized fiber was the first vulcanized fiber that could be molded into a composition. The Courtenay & Trull company merged with the Vulcanized Fiber Co. which gave them strength as a larger company to get through some hard times (which you can read about here). I believe that (as the patent says) that Courtenay did not want to waste scrap pieces of vulcanized fiber. So, he found a way to put them to use by grinding them up "into a fine powder" and then using them in a vulcanized fiber composition. This also allowed him to use other useful ingredients in his 'soup', namely: "graphite or plumbago" (which added hardness), "ground resin 'or pitch, any of the resinous gums" (which provided a high gloss and made it impervious to moisture - it also acted as a binding agent being mixed throughout and later hardened under heat and pressure), "sawdust, hemp, jute, silk, linen threads" (added greatly to the toughness and tensile strength), "talc, and a variety of other materials" (varying according to the purposes for which the goods are intended). I am sure that you can see now why this new gelatinized fiber made such a big hit, when compared to normal vulcanized fiber. In fact a large enough hit to cause a merger and partnership with the vulcanized fiber company. While I am not really sure if Courtenay really understood the importance of his invention and the real reasons for it's successful composition makeup; It was the grinding into a fine powder that really gave it the hardness as well as the crushing and tensile strength above other products. The more uniform or sorted the grains are, the closer the grain can bind together producing a homogeneous hard and solid product.

The old vulcanized fiber used layers of sheet paper which was homogeneous itself as far as each sheet, but as you compressed several sheets together and hoping for the best binding chemical reaction, it was always lacking in the end result and never perfect. In time as many other new compositions were invented, these basic principals of well sorted materials were understood. Later hard gelatinized fiber was improved and became the norm for all different fiber companies as a high end product. The basic improvement was simple as it became a cotton product that basically became one big joined mass of hardened cellulose.


The first product being made by the vulcanized fibre company was quickly and constantly being improved, but keeping the same basic structure as the normal layered and compressed vulcanized fiber.

Bergmann lamp socket made from gelatinized fiberIt was William Courtenay of New York that took it on himself to greatly improve the fiber product structure with his inventions.

Courtenay was the inventor of gelatinized fiber (a Bergmann product sample shown on your right). Gelatinized fiber became Courtenay's exclusive trade product until later merging with the vulcanized fiber company.

As shown in patent no. 217,448 applied for August 24th 1878, Courtenay found that he could grind down and "reduce to a fine powder" scraps of vulcanized fiber, paper pulp and many other materials namely graphite, plubbago, ground resin or pitch, sawdust, hemp, jute, silk, linen threads, resinous gums, talc, "and a variety of other materials" and make a hard vulcanized fiber composition material. This was a great breakthrough seeing that the current invention of "vulcanized fiber" could not be molded.

This new fiber invention was able to be molded into a really strong composition, which he called gelatinized fiber.

Bergmann started using this material on moving tongue sockets starting with no. 6 in our moving tongue lineup (also shown in the picture above). While Bergmann experimented with other composition materials (some of which were used on other products), gelatinized fiber was the preferred material for moving tongue sockets until porcelain started being used in 1890.

Below is a write up that was in Mechanics magazine February 17, 1883 talking about vulcanized fiber and the new gelatinized fiber that they just compleated testing.

Article about gelatinized fiber.


"We recently obtained samples of what the manufacturers call a '' gelatinized " fiber, which, while resembling in many particulars vulcanized fiber, has developed several new characteristics."

While compared to vulcanized fiber, this new gelatinized fiber, was said to have properties "resembling" in many particulars vulcanized fiber. It was also said that it had "developed several new characteristics".

Lets have a closer look at these "new" characteristics


"Samples of this material, which we obtained from Messrs. Courtenay & Trull, 17 Dey street, New York, have almost every characteristic of hard rubber, combined with many of the characteristics of horn."

The known and widely used vulcanized fiber product of the day, was also marketed as a replacement for hard rubber. However, just as many other products with this early claim failed, vulcanized fiber could not honestly live up to these boasts. Gelatinized fiber was an entirely new concept, which in time may had proven to be a better and less expensive product then virtually all other hard rubber substitutes being sold in the early 1880's.

Horn was a frequently used material in the early days, along side of (but preferred over) ivory and bone. Bone needed to be purified before use, during which it lost much of its gelatine content (as well as a portion of its strength and elasticity). Ivory had less of a gelatine content and needed to be seasoned (just as wood did). It was also susceptible to shrinkage to a small extent, as well as being absorbent to water.

For the most part horn had already been replaced by hard rubber since about 1875, but it was cheaper and at that time more easier to come by. For these reasons horn was still in use as a material for less expensive common uses, or for temporary purposes.

The 'characteristics of horn' spoken in the article, likely meant that (because of the fact of it having a high gelatine content) it was easy to work with. People already knew about horn and its ease of use, but also knew that it was not a long lasting solution (as this new gelatinized fiber was proving to be). When horn was heated, it could be easily carved with a common knife. Even in its cold state it could still be fashioned using a saw or other grinding tools (as well as being drilled or threaded for binding screws to it). In my personal testing between vulcanized and gelatinized fiber, I found the vulcanized fiber to chip and break apart during cutting where the gelatinized fiber sliced and carved nicely without any issues.

"Besides the red, which resembles a very fine and beautiful form of the ordinary vulcanized fiber, it is also made in black and in white. It takes a fine polish, cuts in a very pleasing manner, apparently without any grain, although thin layers seem to be visible in the white under the microscope."

Here we find that it is much like "ordinary vulcanized fiber" when it comes to the popular red color, that everyone became familiar with and loved so much.

The white and black gelatinized fiber is not as noticed today, where as red examples stand out more and is noticed as being used in many different product examples through the years. Black gets often confused with hard rubber and hard rubber substitutes, and white with different compositions or horn and ivory.

If you are looking for early examples of all three colors, a common source would be antique or early poker chips that are found in sets of the three colors (black, red and white). There are also poker chips made from clays and rubbers, but many sets using only these three combinations will be gelatinized fiber. Later chip sets (after 1910) would be using a much higher quality of gelatinized fibre made mostly from cotton. The Vulcanized Fibre Company called their product trade name Vul-Cot, where other companies had high end products such as Egyptian Fibre, Conite, Condensite-Celeron, etc..

It was said "It takes a fine polish, cuts in a very pleasing manner, apparently without any grain, although thin layers seem to be visible in the white under the microscope."

I will make a few points using the picture shown on your right, of this broken (gelatinized fiber) insulating plate of a (circa mid 1880's) Bergmann moving tongue socket.

First, notice that it has a gelatinized fiber insulating-tip, shown sticking up out of the tongue slot. This was added to this picture to display it's gelatinous nature. The back end of this tip had a chip above the threaded screw hole, in which I cut using the same cutting tool that I used to cut this sample in half. Without any doubt, this is the same exact material.

Next, notice that the sample itself was cut with a normal dremel cutting tool, across where it was naturally broken and chipped on the right side.

You can clearly see that where it was cut, it would not require any polishing or sanding whatsoever. Also, where it has been cut shows NO GRAIN at all, being perfectly smooth.

In contrast, vulcanized fiber when cut, will chip and show many uneven layers as well as gaps, pockets crevices and small holes. This is because vulcanized fiber is made from paper layers, being compressed together.

Gelatinized fiber is made from finely ground up pieces of vulcanized fiber and other gelatinous ingredients, which are molded together. The texture of the molded product is more like what you might think of today in a piece of particle board, and the older vulcanized fiber being more like a piece of plywood. However, because of its gelatinous nature and very fine gelatinous particles, it seals and smoothens itself along with the friction created.

Unlike the normal old vulcanized fiber, it was said of gelatinized fiber that "it takes a polish". The old vulcanized fiber was normally varnished. The varnish gave it a protective seal as well as a glossy wet looking shine.

Next to the picture above, I asked that you call your attention to the broken or chipped part, shown on the bottom right. If you notice the texture, you will see that it does not have the air pockets and gaps of normal vulcanized fiber which would give it a gritty texture, with chunks or pieces falling off of it.

This chip can provide a great example of the statement that it "takes a fine polish".

Notice the picture to your right. This is the same exact area as shown above, which has been only lightly and quickly gone over with a polishing wheel on a dremel.

As you can see, this is looking more and more like a miracle material when it comes to working with it.
So far, it is not hard to understand the quote in this article which says "One of the electrical papers says that it is the best insulating material now procurable".

"It is somewhat lighter than vulcanized fiber, and can be sawed, riveted, drilled or embossed, and takes a good screw-thread. It seems to be entirely free from grit, so far as we can judge. It is made in sheets varying from 1/4 to 1-32 inch in thickness, and is so tough that the thinnest sheets do not break until folded to a radius of perhaps 1/8 inch. The fracture is then more like a tough metal than a stiff, solid substance."

I am not sure if this quote is to point to color or weight. If weight, I would not understand the reasoning as to why gelatinized fiber would be lighter in weight, unless it has something to do with the leeching process in which vulcanized fiber is dried and compressed. During this process vulcanized fiber has the chemicals used to produce it, drained and removed. The brain would think of it as a more heavy material seeing it has its content ground up into a powder, which would be more like a concentrated version of the same ingredients. If color, it is more of a pail red when comparing 1880's Bergmann samples with other sockets that used vulcanized fiber around the same time frame (for example Thomson-Houston). However, many gelatinized fiber product examples later in history have a much deeper red color. So maybe it was found that color had more to do with sucess and there were changes made to the product years later that gave it a darker red color. Note that I have since writing this section purchased a nice digital gem scale and have tested the weight. After cutting two exact and precise size pieces, in my opinion there were no differences in weight that would have been noticed.

While vulcanized fiber did not thread as well as the gelatinized fiber, it could be sawed and shaped, riveted, etc..

However, as shown above gelatinized fiber cut much better not leaving any gaps. Also while being cut, it did not chip, flake or crack as gelatinized did.

As said above, when being cut, there was no chipping or issues of this nature at all. With vulcanized fiber, you could sometimes just rub it hard and get small grit pieces falling off. This new fiber was smooth and solid.

In speaking of fish paper for example, this gelatinized fiber could be bent and then cracked or broken into two pieces with a straight edge as if it was evenly cut.

Hard fiber was basically the same as vulcanized fiber, only under a different registered trade name. As far as companies go, there were two different "hard fiber" companies and both in Delaware. The American Hard Fibre Co. (of Newark Delaware) merged with the original Vulcanized Fibre Company in which merger created a new business name, now called the "American Vulcanized Fibre Company". The Delaware Hard Fibre Company of Wilmington which was created by Charles G. Rupert in 1888, later merged with the Continental Fibre Company (which became a consolidation of the Diamond State Fibre Co. In 1919).

D H Egyptian fiber was also a product of the Delaware Hard Fiber Company. Egyptian fiber was their high end cotton gelatinized fiber.

D.H. Egyptian fiber was molded into special custom shapes to order, as well as the common sheets, rods and tubes.

In the 1860's to early 1870's Emery Andrews was an inventor of matches and match tip improvements, with over ten different patents credited to his name during those years. In the early 1870's his inventions were based on imitation leather products. The first of his inventions centered around imitation leather shoe products, then trunks and finally simply Leatheroid. His patents reflect the Leatheroid Manufacturing Company by September 8 1884. He also refers to "parchment paper" as "Leatheroid" in the title of patent 312945 his improvement and recipe for his trade name Leatheroid. By 1889 Andrews branched much more into electrical insulation, as can be seen from the patents shown below for a hard rubber product called Vulcaloid (which was rubber mixed with ground up scraps of Leatheroid). He also started manufacturing electrical fiber tape, insulators, etc.

In 1876 Emery Andrews, Stephen Moore, Homer Rogers and C.W. Goodnow were the controlling group in the National Leather Board Company. In 1886 they founded the Leatheroid Manufacturing Company with Emery Andrews as the president. In 1918 the National Leather Board Company and the Leatheroid Manufacturing Company (and others) merged into a new name of the Rogers Fibre Company.

Some of Emery Andrews patents: Counter top: US Pat. 140569 - Filed Feb 14, 1873 (no assignment), Machine for stripping leather-board: US Pat. 166837 - Filed Jan 20, 1875 (no assignment)
, Coloring Leather-board: US Pat. 203810 - Filed Jun 16, 1877 (no assignment), Heel stiffener for boots and shoes: US Pat. 242737 - Filed Mar 31, 1881 (no assignment), Heel stiffener for boots and shoes: US Pat. 276550 - Filed Jun 7, 1882 (no assignment), Drier for paper-board: US Pat. 314640 - Filed Dec 15, 1883 (no assignment), Bending machine: US Pat. 329613 - Filed Sep 8, 1884 (assigned to the leatheroid manufacturing company), Manufacture of parchment-paper or LEATHEROID: US Pat. 312945 - Filed Sep 24, 1884 (assigned to the leatheroid manufacturing company), Trunk-hinge: US Pat. 312947 - Filed Sep 24, 1884 (assigned to the leatheroid manufacturing company), Trunk: US Pat. 332034 - Filed Apr 16, 1885 (assigned to the leatheroid manufacturing company), Box: US Pat. 329875 - Filed APR 16, 1885, Box Fastener: US Pat. 329614 - Filed APR 27, 1885, Nut Locking Washer: US Pat. 329615 - Filed Aug 14, 1885, Parchmentized paperboard: US Pat. 352729 - Filed Feb 17, 1886, Waterproofed parchment-paper: US Pat. 458840 - Filed Mar 8, 1889, Textile fabric: US Pat. 433388 - Filed Mar 21, 1889, Compound for parchmentizing paper: US Pat. 420615 - Filed APR 26, 1889, Electric Insulator: US Pat. 428545 - Filed Nov 4, 1889, US Pat. 428544 - Filed Nov 4, 1889, Leatheroid tape (electrical tape) US Pat. 541032 - Filed May 8, 1894.

The ad shown on above on your right for the National Fibre & Insulation Co. In Yorklyn is appropriate since it was that company that ended up absorbing most all of these fiber companies shown here in the end and is still alive and well today after a few different name changes.

The Vulcanized Fiber Co. ends up merging with many companies first, and during one large merger they changed their name to the American Vulcanized Fibre Co. (talked about here). When the National Fibre & Insulation Co. merges in which they again make a new company in which they consolidate into the National Vulcanized Fibre Co., Of which the factory was in Wilmington and the offices now in Yorklyn. Later the name is changed again to the NVF Company.


This type of fiber was known by many different trade names, but the type of fiber was most commonly known as "trunk fibre" and much earlier was known by different names relating to imitation leather or "soft fiber" products.

Noteworthy is that most all of the fiber companies had their own imitation leather (or soft flexible) product, called by their own trade name. This type of soft fiber was manufactured in many different colors (and shades of those colors), not being limited as vulcanized fiber was by choice. This was normally so as not to weaken it using different pigments or additives.

The trunk fiber product was (by design) a tough leather type of fiber material that was mostly used to cover the surface of old steamer trunks and drum cases. It was also used for machine belting and almost every other application that real leather or rawhide could be used for


Just as many other fiber companies, Diamond State Fiber Company had a line of different vulcanized fiber products and trade names. They had DIAMOND FIBER, which was their regular layered vulcanized fiber product. DISFICO was their HORN product which was basically their white colored high end gelatinized fiber (made from high quality rope stock in place of cotton). They also made trunk fiber and a new product called CONDENSITE, which was first marketed by the Condensite Company of America. The product however turned out to be a form of Bakelite which was protected by patent. The General Bakelite Company brought suits for infringements against the Condensite Company of America and several users of "Condensite". The Condensite Company acknowledged the validity of the Bakelite patents and paid a substantial royalty. The Condensite Company was allowed to then manufacture Condensite under the Aylsworth patents as well as the license just granted for such of the Baekeland patents as were broad enough to cover Condensite. The General Bakelite Company felt gratified over the confirmation of the breadth of scope and pioneer character of its patents. It was the Condensite-Celoron product that Diamond advertised in their ads for their "Silent-Gears" product.

The Celluvert Manufacturing Company was incorporated in 1887, but the material was applied for patent and f
iled on May, 25,1885. Celluvert was again another new trade name for vulcanized fiber, this 'invention' by a chemist named Henry W. Morrow of Wilmington, Delaware Morrow used this material himself for trunk fiber as well as being documented for journal-bearings, belting, trunks, washers, tubes, skaterollers, etc..

It is also quoted with the ability to also be made into knife handles, and various forms and shapes of non-conductors of electricity. The sheets or slabs may be made either hard and hornlike or pliable and leather-like, according to the use to which the "celluvert" is to be put. See these patent entries.
The Celluvert Manufacturing Company changed its name to the Kartavert Manufacturing Company and the product Celluvert was now called "Kartavert Fiber".

Kartavert fiber (previously
celluvert fiber) now made by the Kartavert Manufacturing Company (changed from the celluvert manufacturing company). The Kartavert word in Latin means "changed paper". The word being derived from the two Latin roots Charta (paper) and Verto (to change). A special quality of cotton fibre paper was obtained in large rolls, which were placed at the front of the machine, and upon unwinding pass over a drying cylinder. This cylinder was heated by steam and is kept at such a temperature that the paper was soon dried. It was then put in a bath of chemicals immediately back of the dryer. The action of the chemicals upon the paper caused a change in its surface and general texture and the fibre became glutinous. Later,the Kartavert Manufacturing Company merges with the vulcanized fiber company.

Laminar fibre was again the same fibre with it's own trade names. The company is said to have been organized in 1890, but I have found the company existing in 1889 publications. In fact, I also find it as far back as 1879 in the Cambridge Massachusetts City Directory. While it was only listed for the one year, it started being listed again in 1891 and then exists until it is merged with the vulcanized fibre company in 1901. Along with the 1901 merger these companies were also allowed to run independently simply becoming a sort of fibre monopoly. So, it is noteworthy that about a year after the merger (Feb. 1902) that Laminar Fibre Co. was absorbed by American Hard Fibre Company which was another one of the companies that merged in 1901. The early mention of the company in 1879 makes sense seeing that the later company was organized by Thompson Hanna who was one of the original vulcanized company founders. Around the same time William Courtenay had some issues where there was a new company formed and then merged in later. Hanna also had some of his own ideas when it came to fibre and it's quality as laminar fibre was almost always a gray color. They would make black and red fibre for special ordering, but their company product 'belief' was that the fibre could loose it's quality by adding different color pigments.

This Vul-Cot trade name was used for the new cotton products of the vulcanized fiber company in Wilmington Delaware. They used this trade name for their regular products, as well as a new line of waste baskets that was said to have saved their company. For more information, see this page where I talk about fiberware and vul-cot fiber.

Indurated fiber was a type of fiber that was known for making wood pulp fiber products such as waste pails, bowls, pots, etc..
In the beginning this fiber was not seen as anything good for electrical insulation, because of the fact that while it was held together by the pulp compression process, it was the varnish that kept it weather proof. Once the protective coating wore down a bit, the bowl, pail, etc., would absorb moisture and fall apart. Later, new processes (actually old processes reinvented see below: "Another Type Of Wood Based Fiber") were wood pulp based fiber started becoming more popular for electrical insulation (having water resistant binders mixed in with its mixture or sometimes in the manufacturing process).

Update 12-14-2010 - I was recently contacted by someone that was interested in the manufacturing process and machines, etc., that were used in making indurated fibre. To help, I put together a list of patents containing composition recipes, methods, machines, known inventors other patents, etc.. In case this patent research is of use to anyone else, the list is presented here in this PDF file. Note that I have listed these in order of oldest to newest. I have also listed a few patents right at the start that will show the history and progression from wooden pails (which were not seamless), to the indurated items which were molded, reamed (or other methods used) to make them all one seamless manufactured piece.


Asphalt / Bitumen Based And Wood Pulp Fibre Compositions

Stephen Allen of Massachusetts, another long time paper manufacturer (see patent no. 38,020 March 1863), started improving his products and inventions in patents 1880 and 1881.

He started making his 'leather' product by mixing fibre rags, paper, bark and other ingredients with asphalt (which was his main binder and patent process).

This was his basic "material for roofing purposes" which was a bitumen / asphalt base composition (invented and patented Jan. 1883 patent no. 278,481), and was now being molded and used for electrical conduits as seen in patent no. 284,794 July 1883.

As seen in the patent, he is now calling it "a composition".

The product was much like rubber and hard rubber and could also be vulcanized.

By 1885 as seen in patent no. 337,472 he was now far underway molding and casting many different shapes for a variety of different electrical uses.

Asphalt composition was common, as there were many different recipes and methods of using it for both cold and hot molded applications.

To examine other asphalt type compositions, see this Edison / Bergmann example as well as the known composition and the composition patent list looking for green highlighted items.

This type of fibre was also re-invented a couple different times.

The indurated fibre companies had a wood based fibre product that was in the early days used for waste & ice buckets, pails, bowls, etc..

About the same time that the vulcanized fibre company moved into marketing their vul-cot waste paper basket product, the indurated fibre companies also started inventing and marketing their electrical insulation products. (as shown in the quote on your right in the street railway journal in 1906 and 1907).

As early as 1886 Mark L. Deering of the United Indurated Fibre Company of Portland and member of the civil engineers club of Cleveland), had the idea of using it for electrical insulation and started doing experiments of ways to make wood pulp (indurated fiber) waterproof. From what I can tell, his basic thoughts and processes were a bit different from others. His papers (linked here and here) talk about an idea that he had when he noticed that water leaked through indurated fiber when put under pressure (before the varnish or sealing process). He invented a method of making barrels waterproof by using a mixture of different sealers (varnishes, tar and pitch too), heated and under pressure which caused the mixture to seep into and between the molded material. When dried, it made for a product which he became most popular for (seamless barrels) and won a contract with Standard Oil. The most unconventional patent may be his patent for "COMPOSITION OF MATTER" in which the composition recipe calls for "one pound of fiber to one quart of blood". Some of his other patents can be seen in this google patent search.

This was basically another trade name and products marketed by the Indestructible Fibre Company of New York.
This company had claimed to have invented three different types of indestructible fiber board. One which they called Durite with claimed to be fireproof. The other two named Fibrite and Kantlite. All three were fibre-board products mostly used for railway car headlinings and steamboat panels or partitions. Kantlite was marketed as non-combustible, and Durite as slow-burning. These two were also marketed as their waterproof fiber products.

Fiber Board was an invention of Wendell & Macduffie, New York and sold under the trade name of "Service Board".
Service board was what basically took the place of Durite and Kantlite. Fibrite was still used by many where a less expensive material than service board could be used. Service board was a more compact material with layers more closely united, under a new process of felting and cementing the plies together.


Vulcanized fiber is composed of cellulose which was discovered in 1838 by a French chemist named Anselme Payen. It was Payen who first determined its chemical formula and isolated it from different plant materials.

The discovery of cellulose paved the way for the invention of nitrocellulose based "collodion" Invented in 1848, which was later used in a process for photographic plates. In 1851 an Englishman Frederick Scott Archer discovered that collodion (a chemical process that forms a flexible cellulose film) could be used in place of egg whites (albumen) on photographic glass plates which also reduced the exposure time.

This paved the way for Alexander Parkes who in 1855 directed special attention to the fact that after the evaporating of solvents on photographic glass plates, a solid residue remained. (The birth of the plastics industry) Parkes invented a process to manufacture the material and named it parkesine. He tried starting a company to manufacture parkesine but failed and went bankrupt. (Later, John Wesley Hyatt acquired Parkes patent and changed the name of parkesine to celluloid and started the Celluloid Manufacturing Company of Albany, NY).

Three early inventors are mostly credited with the invention of vulcanized fiber, as well as improvements to the product for a little over a generation. These inventors were: Stephen M. Allen of Massachusetts, Thompson Hanna (and other family members) of Pennsylvania and William Courtenay of New York.


Vulcanized fiber was first invented by Thomas Taylor, an English inventor who secured the British patent for it in 1859.
Over a decade later (March 16, 1871), Taylor applied for the United States Patent for vulcanized fibre which was approved and assigned patent no. 114,880 Taylor assigned his U.S. Patent to Thompson Hanna and Waldmer Schmidt who also improved the invention, now owning three patents (61,267), 113,454), (114,880). Waldimer Schmidt was partnered with August Hartje (a well known paper manufacturer and millionaire) now owned 50/50 of the Schmidt share in the patents as well as the Pittsburgh Manufacturing Company.

A contract was written June 30th 1873 and later updated in November of 1873 to include all future inventions of Thompson Hanna to also be split equally between all parties including Hartje. A company was formed at the same time which they named "Vulcanized Fibre Company". Though the actual incorporation was not entered into the titles of acts of incorporation law book until Feb. 8, 1875 (chapter 268), a special charter was formed in the state of Delaware when the first contracts were completed back in 1873.

Other patents, improvements and products continued on through the years, but the first actual industrial manufacturer of vulcanized fiber here in the U.S. Was the "Vulcanized Fibre Company". In these early days (before 1880) there was not many choices for fiber companies. There was the original Vulcanized Fiber Company and a couple of other early inventors.


It was not until the early 1880's (with the invention of incandescent lighting) that the fiber business really started taking off and becoming a real success. It was also about the same time that all of the fathers of the fiber inventions patents started to expire (1888). Within no time at all, fiber businesses started popping up all over the country. In the Wilmington Delaware area alone there was: The Vulcanized Fibre Company, American Hard Fiber Company, Delaware Hard Fiber Company, Diamond State Fibre Co., Continental Fibre Co., And the list goes on. The many fiber businesses in one small area, was mainly attributed to the water power of Piedmont streams in Northern Delaware.

In the early days (even before patents expired) the same basic materials were sold under different registered trade names.
New manufacturers were inventing slightly different products in order to come up with their own name and product. After naming their product, they started to drum up business advertising their 'special' fiber product as something better then the others out there.

For example, to get around current trade names, each manufacturer had their own trade name for their product such as: Horn Fiber, Hard Fiber, Laminar, Leatheroid, Kartavert, Fiberoid, Vulcanized Fiber, Gelatinized Fiber, etc..

This is why for example that the Vulcanized Fibre Company (at the time) could claim in their advertisements to be SOLE MANUFACTURERS OF "VULCANIZED FIBRE". In the same way, Courtenay & Trull was exclusive with their invention and trade mark for "Gelatinized Fibre".

As the fiber products (in general) started to peak, each company had followers and the word spread on their different products, some with more success then others.

Even though these companies chose these different 'broad' trade names; and they were accepted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office; they still were not legal trade names until infringement is proven in a court. The vulcanized fiber company had a trademark for "Vulcanized Fiber" and pressed it's weight in these early days not letting others use the term to describe another fiber product. In truth though and according to trademark law, anyone could had used this term at any time since it was a description of fiber. In fact most of these trade names were not really legal, they just had not been tested in a court of law yet. It was a fiber company (with the trademark for "indurated" fibre) that thought that their trade name would hold up and is now a case quoted by lawyers and judges to explain why you can not enforce this type of trade name. This was the case of the United Indurated Fibre Co. In Lockport N.Y. trying to get an injunction put on the Amoskeag Indurated Fibre Ware Co. In New Hampshire. The Indurated Fiber Co. owned a trademark for "Indurated Fibre" and fought for it and lost under the grounds:

Trade-marks—"Indurated Fibre."
"It seems to me that they do not sufficiently point either by themselves or by association, to the origin, manufacture or ownership of the article produced, but that they rather indicate the quality, class, grade, or style of such article; or, to express the distinction in another form, that they are not arbitrary or fanciful words, but are descriptive rather of the quality, ingredients, or characteristics of the manufactured article.

A name alone is not a trade-mark when It is understood to signify, not the particular manufacture of a certain proprietor, but the kind or description of thing which is manufactured. Anything descriptive of the properties, style, or quality of an article merely, is open to all.

"The cases cited are good law, but they do not apply to this case, because it seems to me that the words now sought to be appropriated as a trademark are indicative of quality rather than of origin or ownership. For these reasons I must deny the present motion."

It is clear from the above that most of the trade names for vulcanized fiber were not valid trademarks.
As time passed the term "vulcanized" fiber became a more common word, without the fear of infringing on trademarks or trade names. The Indurated Fiber case turned out to be a landmark case as seen here cited in many different legal publications.

In the beginning the vulcanized fibre company was the most successful, being the first and already having the reputation for "vulcanized fiber". The next most successful product trade names was the "hard fiber" trade product and the gelatinized fibre which was gaining lots of ground fast. However, along with the rash of new businesses, there was no longer enough profit to go around for the rate of public demand for fiber.

In a letter to a sundries committee (after a merger with the vulcanized fibre company
William Courtenay wrote:

"The competition among the various manufacturers has become so keen that there is no longer a fair profit in the business, and this company is the only one that is able to pay any regular dividends to stockholders, and those only very moderately."
William Courtenay

Courtenay & Trull consolidated with the Vulcanized Fibre Company in June of 1884 .

Noteworthy is the fact that William Courtenay was one of the original vulcanized fibre co. board members from the early 1870's.
In fact, he was it's first president as a New York Corporation formed June 19 1873 listed with William Courtenay President : Charles F. Cobby Secretary. (Also see the 1883 N.Y. City Directory) I do not know any of the details at all, but the facts show that a special charter in the state of Delaware was also created in 1873. The New York corporation did not last for a listing the next year, but the Delaware corporation was approved on February 8 1875 (see chapter 268) listing William Courtenay President : Clement B. Smyth Secretary. As shown in the ads below, up until 1877 there was a New York office with the factory in Delaware (after the merger in June of 1884 with Courtenay & Trull the New York office shows up again in ads).

There was a change February 4 1878 where William Courtenay is no longer listed:
We have: Caesar A. Rodney President : Frank Taylor Secretary. This same president and secretary in a listing I find in 1880 "THE VULCANIZED FIBRE COMPANY—Tenth and Walnut Sts., Wilmington, Del. The company was incorporated in 1873, under a special charter from the State of Delaware, with an authorized capital of $300,000. The President of the Vulcanized Fibre Company is Caesar A. Rodney, and the Secretary and Treasurer is Mr. Frank Taylor" Industries of Delaware: historical and descriptive review : cities, towns ... By Richard Edwards page 109. Also in an ad shown below, April 1883 we have D. Fleming President.

More facts after this point are that in 1882, we have Courtenay in his own business partnership "Courtenay & Trull".

Next, we have Courtenay patents which show his own inventions starting around the same time that he is no longer listed as the president of the vulcanized fibre company. These inventions filed in 1877, 1878 and 1880 are in his own name, and we see these inventions being marketed by Courtenay & Trull as sole agents for these products (in another ad shown below).

Again, we find a new invention in 1882, but assigned to a new company "The Gelatinized Fibre Company" (Patent 256642 - Filed Jan 26, 1882). We soon see adverts by Courtenay & Trull as sole agents for the Gelatinized Fibre Company and a remark of how much better it is then "Vulcanized Fibre".

The next clear point of documentation we find is the fact that 'Courtenay & Trull' merges with the vulcanized fibre company as shown below.

Messrs. Courtenay & Trull, manufacturers of the "gelatinized fibre," have consolidated with the Vulcanized fibre Company, of Wilmington, Del. There is great similarity in the goods manufactured by these two concerns, and the consolidation seems to be a wise move. Their product has developed a great variety of uses, and the demand for it is becoming very large.

------------------------The Electrician and electrical engineer: Volume 3 - Page 135 June 1884

Another point is that some time in 1884, W.W. Snow is elected the new president of the vulcanized fibre company. He lasted almost a year, before William Courtenay was once again elected it's president, and was so until 1898 when he is succeeded by J. Fred Pierson.

So, from this evidence, it appears that for some unknown reason William Courtenay had left the vulcanized fibre company, and became their direct competition. As seen from the marketing through the years and large acceptance of Courtenay's gelatinized fibre invention, it is clear that Courtenay could have caused serious damage to the vulcanized fibre company if the merger did not take place.

The ad shown on the right is from 1877 when William Courtenay was first president and the Vulcanized Fibre Company was first incorporated in New York.


US Pat. 198,534 - Filed May 18 1877 Approved Dec. 25 1877 MARTINGALE RINGS

US Pat. 193,322 - Filed May 18 1877 Approved Jul. 24 1877 MAKING HOLLOW ARTICLES OF VULCANIZED FIBER

US Pat. 193,323 - Filed May 18 1877 Approved Jul. 24 1877 CANS OR VESSELS FROM VULCANIZED FIBER

US Pat. 197,252 - Filed May 18 1877 Approved Nov. 20 1877 SOUND-BOARDS FOR MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS

US Pat. 195,885 - Filed May 18 1877 Approved Oct. 09 1877 HARNESS-LOOPS

US Pat. 217,448 - Filed Aug 24 1878 Approved Jul. 15 1879 PATENT FOR GELATINIZED FIBRE

US Pat. 234,967 - Filed June 8, 1880 Approved Nov. 30 1880 SCREW-NUT

US Pat. 256,642 - Filed Jan 26, 1882 Approved Apr. 18 1882 NUT-LOCK (ASSIGNED TO THE GELATINIZED FIBRE COMPANY OF NEW YORK)

US Pat. 240,892 - Filed Dec. 9, 1880 Approved May. 03 1881 SCREW-NUT

US Pat. 267,329 - Filed Oct. 5, 1882 Approved Nov. 14 1882 NUT-LOCK

From looking at the ads closely, you can see the progression of trade names being merged as you notice the new offerings.

As I look at and compare this information and the ads both above and below, I can't help but to see Courtenay as a man on a mission. If you look at the ad above that was made when Courtenay was still president (1877 ad above - including the fancy font) and then compare with the last ad (after the merger) shown below at the end of this section, you will see the similarities. It is almost like Courtenay took a walk around the block that took him almost a decade.

What else could all of this history be showing us other then a man out to prove a point, or a gambler that played his hand well.

As seen on the right, the Vulcanized Fibre Company was advertising in April of 1883 that they were sole manufacturers of "Vulcanized" fiber and their only address in Wilmington Delaware.

Below, we see Courtenay & Trull advertising their gelatinized fiber trade mark from their Dey St,. New York address in February of 1883 and January of 1884.

As seen in the ad on your right, Courtenay & Trull are shown as the "sole agents" selling Courtenay's inventions.

As shown in the ads by the patent dates, these were the newest gelatinized fibre products, as well as the nut-lock patent numbers 256,642 and 267,329. Shown in the ad below.

You will also notice the note in the ad that they are superior to leather and "Vulcanized Fibre" of which the Vulcanized Fibre Company in Wilmington Delaware were "Sole Manufacturers" of.

As shown in the bullion ad below, we see that in April of 1883, Courtenay & Trull are now sole agents for the "Gelatinized Fibre Company" (which I did find in a N.Y. city directory).

Notice also that the ad shows a new address for Courtenay & Trull of 15 Dey St.

Again later after the merger the address is shown as 14 Dey St.

You will notice on your right that after the merger in June of 1884 took place, the vulcanized fiber company now has two addresses once again.

They are also now the "sole manufacturers of vulcanized AND gelatinized fiber".

This was a great move on their part, now cornering the market for both of the most popular trade names when it came to fibre.

Later they became an unstoppable force as they merged with other fibre companies.


As time progressed into the 1900's; and as Germany and other countries started importing poor quality fiber products (at half the cost); many of the fiber companies that were left were either forced out of business, or ended up merging into one large fiber ball. This December 4, 1901 merger created a new company called the "American Vulcanized Fiber Co." Which was formed for the purpose of consolidating: Kartavert Mfg. Co., Wilmington, Del. American Hard Fibre Co., Newark, Del. Vulcanized Fibre Co., Wilmington, Del. and the Laminar Fibre Co. Of North Cambridge, Mass.

Here is a tree that I made from my research of the vulcanized fibre co., it's history and mergers mostly from city directories.
I have also included some fibre companies that went out of business before 1904 that I found in Obsolete American Securities and Corporations by R.M. Smythe.


Note: A special thank you goes to Cornelius Peterson (the great, great, great grandson of Jesse Peterson the first president of the United Indurated Fibre Company), who provided some documentation material for this part of my research.

At the same time the vulcanized fibre company was becoming a strong fiber force (mid to late 1880's), another smart business man began building his fiber empire. His name was Jesse Peterson of Belfast New York, who was the president of the Indurated Fiber Company of Lockport New York. Just as the other Delaware group of fiber companies was attributed to the water power of Piedmont streams in northern Delaware, Peterson was part of a small group of fiber businesses and paper mills that grew around the Lockport New York area, thriving on the water ways there (Erie Canal). Some of these companies were: (Lockport Pulp Co., Traders' Paper Co., Lockport Paper Co., Niagara Paper Mills, Cascade Wood Pulp Co., Indurated Fibre Co. And Lockport Felt Co.. The Indurated Fibre Company should not be confused with the Amoskeag Indurated Fibre Ware Company (Peterborough New Hampshire) which was based on a fiber invention by Frank Eugene. However both of these "Indurated Fibre" companies, were making wood pulp fiber products such as waste pails, bowls, pots, etc. (note also that there were other "indurated" companies).

The first indurated company was (as far as I am aware) the Portland Indurated Fibre Company (Portland Maine) which was operating in 1884. Jesse Peterson who owned and
operated a wood pulp mill in Lockport NY, became the first president of the "Indurated
Fibre Corporation" in 1885 (which was a three story building directly across the street from his mill).
Just as with the vulcanized fiber businesses, as the indurated fiber companies became a success, other indurated fiber companies also started popping up.

By 1888 there were plants producing this type of product operating in Oswego, New York, Mechanicsville, New York, Medina, New York, Watertown Massachusetts and Peterboro New Hampshire.

Just for example and to show the growth, when Peterson's Indurated Fibre Corporation plant first began operations it was producing about 350 pails a day.

However, by 1888 the output was 3000 pieces a day which included 1600 pails, 100 tubs, and an assortment of spittoons, slop jars, wash basins, and butter bowls.

The largest part of the business at the time was the pails, since they were marketed as one piece pails without bottoms (seamless).

In those early days the main problem with current pails was the bottoms falling out with age.

As shown above, just as the vulcanized fiber companies merged to become stronger, so did these indurated companies.

However, in the long run the mergers did not prepare the indurated companies for the new inventions and new products (namely galvanized iron pails and items made from tin and aluminum) that soon put them out of business.

United Indurated Fibre was purchased on July 13 1914 lock stock and barrel by Phillip W. Russell (who was an attorney working for the H.W. Johns fibre company) - Wall Street Journal, July 13, 1914

The company name was changed to "Fibre Corporation" on July 20th 1914.

The directors of the new company were W.R. Siegle of Connecticut and Richard Bennett, Jr., Roger Sherman, Wm.K. Dupree, Jr., and Fred E. Sturgess, all of New York.
Wall Street Journal, July 20, 1914

Here is a link to a full size high res scan of a post card picturing the United Indurated Fibre Co. In 1895 (click here to view it in a popup window or tab).

Here are some examples of some indurated pails and items. Many of the items made by the united indurated fibre company can be seen on display at the Niagara County Historical Society in Lockport NY.

Kandt House at 229 Niagara Street. Newly opened in 1999 this Victorian Home now houses several new Exhibits with more to come in the future.

The Fitz-Gerald's Medical Arts Room, features an old fashioned doctors office honoring all three Fitz-Gerald doctors who practiced in this county. Medical artifacts from the 1920's onward are featured.

The business and Industry Exhibit documents some of the innovative and important industries that developed here in Niagara County. Artifacts from the Simonds Saw & Steel, the Carborundum Company and Lockport Glass are main subjects. Birdsall Holly's invention of the first pressurized fire hydrant started the Holly Manufacturing Company a major employer in its day. Items from that company, along with Merchant's Gargling Oil, the Seven Sutherland Sisters and other local notables are included.

Local flavor is featured in the Ford Gum Company that started in Niagara County and supplied the colorful gumballs you remember from childhood. Examples of Indurated Fiberware made from the by-products of the lumber industry will be on display.

Some images below copied with permission from www.lockportcave.com




From the beginning there were basically two different types of fiber companies that provided entirely different types of products.
The indurated wood fibre products shown above which did not survive; and the vulcanized paper types of products which because of its many different uses did survive the test of time.

This fiber is what was marketed as horn, trunk, gelatinized, vulcanized, etc. This fiber was used for washers and all kinds of different electrical insulation. It was used as imitation leather for belting, trunks, shoes, etc.. When gelatinized fiber was perfected, it was used for so many different things including poker chips, tokens, pendant cord adjusters and the list just goes on and on. C.W. Sutton the last president of the American Vulcanized Co. (right before it's last large merger and name change into the national vulcanized fibre co.) is quoted in an article (linked here) in factory magazine February 1922 (from losses to profits) that they "made up fibre into special articles on order-electrical goods, and the thousand and one specialties for which fibre gradually came to be used".

As the article above also points out, during their battle for 'fiber company survival', they needed a type of flagship product to carry them through. The american vulcanized fiber company found this in a new product marketed under their new trade name VUL-COT. Together with the running of large ad campaigns (some shown below) and by offering a five year guarantee - their new 'Fiber Ware' waste basket became this flagship product. The picture below shows a d
ollar-sized (36.7mm) red gelatinized fibre advertising token, from the American Vulcanized Fibre Co.. It also shows a depiction of their VUL-COT waste basket and advertises their 5 year guarantee.


When I first started this section and my lists of early materials and recipes, the main part of the list was for the most part directly copied from a book published in 1899, 1909 and 1918 called Crude rubber and compounding ingredients by Henry Clemens Pearson. However, even with the large base or bulk of information found in this volume, I have found myself adding much more information and research then I ever anticipated. Information that has been added from personal research would include (but is not limited to) all of the illustrations, ads, photos, patent information, known compositions or ingredients that were missing, known compositions that were invented after publication, corrected information or more expounded info on some items that were originally quoted, color coding, links, etc..

GREEN Asphalt, Asphaltum, Bitumen, Pitch and its derivatives
RED Asbestos and its derivatives
PURPLE Caoutchouc, Rubber, Gutta-Percha, Etc.
GOLDENROD Fibers made from any paper, wood, rag, or vegetable pulp and then solidified using zinc chloride. Vulcanized / Gelatinized / Horn / Leatheroid / Etc.

Please check back from time to time, as this will always be a continuing work.

If you have any corrections, ads, info or additions, please feel free to contact me.

Here are my composition research lists

Click here to view my Known Composition Product List
The known composition part of my lists covers compositions that were sold at one time under a trade name, or patented as a known invention. I have tried to the best of my ability and scope of knowledge, to only have known compositions in this list while listing the ingredients in another list. This can be difficult when either a known composition or trade product is 99 percent of an ingredient and 1 percent filler or some other item. In most of these cases, I will try my best to cross link or weblink them together.

Click here to view my Inactive Ingredients Used In Compositions

Sand, clay and other inert ingredients were used as fillers (most times termed as inactive ingredients) in different compositions.
Most inactive
ingredients or fillers were chosen for their properties and how they would mix into or help the composition.
For example, sand for the silica or quartz which would provide hardness and take heat well, and clay for the high resistance to heat as well as the additional binding properties (and because of its small granular size). You will often times find talc or ground up soap stone used along side of these ingredients to help provide additional resistance to heat (and hardness if the composition was to be fired with clay or mixed with plaster). Since sands, clays and some other inert ingredients can play a big part in compositions, using the particle size chart might be of use to you when trying to id some materials.

Click here to view my Composition Materials Patent List
This list might take some time to complete, but as I come across composition (and composition ingredient) patents in research they will be here. If you come across a patent not in the list, please do feel free to email me or contact me with the information so that it can be added to the list.

Click here to view my Active Ingredients Used In Compositions
Molded insulation's are either cold molded or hot molded depending on which active ingredients or binding agents and methods are chosen. If it is a chemical reaction that takes place with a mixture (without heat), this would be called a cold molded composition. It can still have hard, stony, vitreous materials, fibers, etc. added to the mixture, but the binding agent would be one of two classes. It would be either a pitch, or resin that is dissolved using chemicals, or a direct chemical reaction such as lime, silica and water mixed with magnesia. An example of other chemical mixtures would be oxide of magnesia mixed with chloride of magnesia or zinc oxide with zinc chloride. Hot molded compositions are normally molded using pressure and heat at the same time. Normally the binding materials used for hot molded compositions, are those that are hard when cold and soft when heated. Most any of the raw insulating materials can be mixed with the binder as an inert ingredient. Often times the materials are mixed together by use of a grinder and then heated to fuse the binders while being placed into a hot mold and compressed. The composition is then allowed to cool and harden under pressure.

Molded insulation embraces a great number of different compositions and compounds, which are difficult of classification. The chief ingredients of some of these materials are well known, while others are made by secret formulas and processes. Among the raw materials employed in the manufacture of molded materials are mica, asbestos, silica, clay, alkaline earths, wood pulp, cotton, hemp, flax, asphalt, camphor, hydraulic cement, rubber, shellac, copal, dammar gum, rosin, paraffin wax, linseed oil, turpentine, benxine, alcohol, phenol and formaldehyde. See: Asbestos Compositions, Asphalt Bitumen Compositions


Asbestos see the asbestos section on this page

Aetna material is a hard composition employed chiefly for strain insulators. Tests made by Symons (Jour. I. E. E., 1904) on a strain insulator of this material gave the following results: Resistance, 20,000 megohms; puncture, 11,000 volts; tensile strength, 5,-500 lb.; absorption of water, 3.2 per cent of its own weight after 1.5 hr. immersion at 49 deg. Cent Other , tests made on this material gave a dielectric strength of about 90 volts per
mil; tensile strength. 1,400 lb. per sq. in. It will withstand great heat, but tends to become brittle at high temperatures.

Allard's fireproof felt is made of 50 per cent, of asbestos and 50 per cent, of animal hair, and for ordinary purposes is wholly fireproof.

Made from liquid bitumen by incorporating with it vegetable oils, such as cottonseed oil, palm oil, rapeseed oil, etc. The product is treated with the aid of heat and pressure, with chloride of sulphur, saltpeter, and sulphur, which produces an oxidization of the fatty substances. The result is an elastic
rubber-like or leathery mass, which is soft, spongy, and gluey. This gum is said to be far more elastic than the best samples of mineral rubber, and is useful for waterproofing and insulation. Patented by W. Brierly, in England.

An asbestos product manufactured by Messrs. Ladewig & Co., Of Rathenow in England under a secret process, for use as steam or hot-water packing.

Asphalt is undoubtedly an oxidized residue from evaporated petroleum. Its specific gravity varies from 1.00 to 1.68. This name is applied usually to the solid bitumen, the liquid being called mineral tar, and sometimes maltha. It is chiefly made up of hydrocarbons, but contains a certain amount of sulphur and nitrogenous bodies. It is known also as natural pitch, Jews' pitch, asphaltum, bitumen, etc. It is a black, hard substance which, when freshly broken, shows shining surfaces that are always correspondingly rounding and hollowing. It is insoluble in water and alcohol, but dissolves in benzine, acetone, and carbon disulphide. Is used in rubber compounding in place of coal tar, and in insulating compositions, and in certain substitutes like kerite. Commercially there are two grades, known as "lake pitch" and "land pitch," of which the latter is the harder.
In solution it is used sometimes to protect rubber goods that are exposed to the destructive influence of brine. A little asphalt is also said to increase the elasticity of hard rubber. Asphalt mixed with resin and oil of tar forms a low-grade artificial gutta-percha. It is added to "Cooley's artificial leather" to harden it and enable it to resist heat. It is also the basis of one type of marine glue. See the Asphalt section on this page

This is made by heating sulphur and resin together to about 250 degrees C, where the reaction takes place, attended by the evolution of sulphuret of hydrogen, and leaving an almost black, pitchy substance resembling asphalt. It is insoluble in alcohol, but dissolves readily in benzine.

A compound to be used in damp places, consisting of pulped cotton 15 pounds, pitch 25 pounds, asphalt 20 pounds, ground granite rock 20 pounds, bitumen 5 pounds, resin 10 pounds, coal tar 12 pounds, and mastic 5 pounds.

An English insulating material which is said to be bitumen refined to absolute purity and vulcanized. It is used on cables, in underground work, for low pressure resistance, and in rare instances for high pressure.

The term applied to a body made up of several hydrocarbons. It resembles Trinidad asphalt and is of the same nature. Its specific gravity is from 1.073 to 1.160. Artificially it is prepared from shales, mineral asphalt, etc. It is used as a source of paraffin. The West Indian product is known as chapapote. A solution is made from it in which the tapes are soaked that are used for covering wire that has been insulated with india rubber. Bitumen has been utilized by what is known as the calendar process, which is a partial vulcanization, rendering it valuable as an insulator. See the Asphalt section on this page

A species of natural asphalt found in the province of Auvergne, France. It is similar to Trinidad asphalt, but is impure, containing clay, silica, magnesia, iron, and traces of arsenic.

Black Pitch Is the residue left after the oils of tar have been distilled from that body. Used in weather proofing work. British Gum

An artificial India rubber invented by Dr. A. L. Blandy, of London. It is fairly elastic, stretching to about twice its length, and returning readily. It is very pliable and composed of hemp fibers, so treated as to be impervious to both alcohol and water. Dieterich analyzed a sample of the product, and said that the fibers were sulphite wood pulp, and that the coating was made from chrome gelatin treated with glycerine, or the well-known compound of glue, glycerine, and bichromate of potassium does not show signs of cracking when bent. It is vulcanized like ordinary rubber, and can be molded into any form desired. Coated on cloth, it strongly resembles leather. It is waterproof, and is used for gas tubing, mats, etc. In its crude form, it is a liquid mass resembling molasses. Dr. Blandy's patent describes the compound as made preferably of linseed oil which has been reduced by oxidation; then 10 per cent, of bisulphide of carbon, to which has been added 10 per cent, of chloride of sulphur, is mingled with the oil, and the mixture brought by gentle heating to the desired consistency. Trinidad asphalt, cleansed and reduced to powder, is combined under the heat in the proportion of 3 parts to 1 of oil. Care must be taken to avoid fire in heating. These proportions are gradually brought, by heat and stirring, to a liquid or thin state, and when in this condition it must be poured upon a wet, cold surface, and thus cast into sheets, convenient for subsequent mixings.

Bougival White was a fairly common white pigment, although it has been replaced by barytes, terra alba, and whiting. Bougival white is a white, marly, China clay found at Bougival, near Marly, in France. The district surrounding Bougival and also Normandy and Auvergne contains many beds of white clays, notable for their smooth qualities of good color. Roughly Bougival white contains 33 per cent, chalk (carbonate of lime) and 67 per cent, kaolin (hydrated silicate of aluminum). Also see Kaolin

Substitute For Hard Rubber made of bitumen, sulphur, lead peroxide, and gum camphor. Amalgamated by heat.

A composition used as a substitute for hard rubber, made of leather scraps boiled in water, with a sufficient quantity of oxalic acid to dissolve them, and a portion of glue. To this are added resin, pitch, beeswax, and copal gum, dissolved in oil. India rubber boiled in linseed oil is then added and a powder formed of plaster of Paris, and a coloring matter is stirred into the composition to thicken and stiffen it.

A residue of coalite tar, much
like natural bitumen and containing little free carbon. An English product.

This consists of crude petroleum, 3 quarts; liquid asphalt, 1 pint; white drier, 1 pint; besswax, 4 ounces, and gum-arabic.

Hard copal is a fossil resin obtained from the East Indies, South America, and the Eastern and Western coasts of Africa. It occurs commercially in roundish, irregular pieces, having a specific gravity of 1.045 to 1.139. It is insoluble in alcohol, partially soluble in ether, and slightly so in oil of turpentine. Soft copal is obtained from living trees in New Zealand, the Philippine Islands, Java, and Sumatra. Used with shellac, asphaltum, and arsenate of potash for waterproofing leather; also in cements, in proofing compounds, and in varnishes in connection with India rubber, lead, alum, and other ingredients dissolved in spirits of turpentine.

Dammar is derived from the Amboyna pine, growing in the Malay peninsula, Sumatra, and Borneo. The resin exudes in tears and is collected after it has dried. It makes a very transparent varnish, the gum being soluble in benzine, essential oils, and to a certain extent in alcohol. Used in artificial leather compounds, and with rubber, asphalt, and fish oil for waterproofing leather. It is quite largely used in rubber cements. Specific gravity 1.10-1.12.

An English patented product made from asbestos 30 parts, plaster of Paris 5 parts, clay 8 parts, copal 15 parts, tar 5 parts, bitumen 15 parts, aniline 2 parts, lampblack 15 parts, mica 4 parts, wax 3 parts.

A well-known substitute for India rubber and leather, made of an artificial gutta-percha called "gum percha," 7 pounds; powdered waste rubber, 7 pounds; India rubber, 14 pounds; sulphide of antimony, 6 pounds; peroxide of iron, 2 pounds; flour of sulphur, 4 pounds 8 ounces; alum, 4 pounds 8 ounces; asbestos powder, 2 pounds; sulphur of zinc, 3 pounds

EBONITE (also known as) Vulcanite, Hard Rubber
The first hard rubber was manufactured by the American Goodyear, and he must be considered as the inventor. Solvents which dissolve the natural raw caoutchouc, and partly dissolve vulcanized soft rubber, have no influence at all on it, and the material offers the strongest resistance to all kinds of acids. If it is exposed for a longer period to a dry temperature of about 400° F., it does not become first sticky and then melt, as happens under the circumstances to raw caoutchouc and vulcanized rubber; it carbonizes at once, and goes through no intermediate stage.

Consists of rubber, asbestos fiber, litharge and sulphur. To this base are added oxide of zinc, iron oxide, graphite, magnesium silicate and resin. It is patented.

Elaterite is, also known as elastic bitumen or mineral caoutchouc.

It appears naturally in soft, flexible masses of a brownishblack color, somewhat resembling India rubber. It is composed of 85.5 per cent, of carbon, and 13.3 per cent, of hydrogen. In its physical characteristics, elaterite is found in infinite variety.

It is sometimes elastic and so soft as to adhere to the fingers, and sometimes brittle and hard. One kind of it, when fresh cut, resembles fine cork, both in texture and color, and will rub out pencil marks. Its elasticity is due to its cellular texture, and to the moisture with which it combines.

It is used to a certain extent in insulating compounds, but is intractable and so far shows no special features of value above other minerals of the same series. A few years ago a company was formed in Colorado which claimed to be able to make many kinds of rubber goods from this product alone, but little has been heard of the plan of late.
See Gilsonite

See Elastoid Fibre in the asbestos section

A product made from a fiber composition.
Possible a wood pulp base seeing that the inventor makes machines and other inventions to make this type of fiber. You can see google patents here

See Auvergne Bitumen.

A product made from natural high-grade asphalt so treated that it is valuable in rubber compounding.

Lustrous black, hard bitumen. Found in Utah.

Dull black solid bitumen. Found in West Va.

A substitute for India rubber and guttapercha, manufactured as follows: To Manila gum tempered with benzine is added 5 per cent, of Auvergne bitumen, also mixed with benzine. Then add 5 per cent, of resin oil, and allow 48 to 86 hours to pass between treatments. The product obtained is similar to India rubber. If it be too fluid, the addition of 4 per cent, of sulphur dissolved in bisulphide of carbon will act as a remedy.

HARD RUBBER (also known as) Vulcanite, Ebonite
The first hard rubber was manufactured by the American Goodyear, and he must be considered as the inventor. Solvents which dissolve the natural raw caoutchouc, and partly dissolve vulcanized soft rubber, have no influence at all on it, and the material offers the strongest resistance to all kinds of acids. If it is exposed for a longer period to a dry temperature of about 400° F., it does not become first sticky and then melt, as happens under the circumstances to raw caoutchouc and vulcanized rubber; it carbonizes at once, and goes through no intermediate stage.

Impregnated Fibre Duct is in extensive use for both inside and outside construction. It is made in the form of a cylindrical tube by wrapping many layers of paper or pulp on a mandrel and impregnating it during the process with bitumen or a compound of liquid asphalt and coal tar, It is sometimes known as bitumenised fibre. Tests made on a certain grade of this material show that it absorbed from 2 to 3 per cent, of water after 96 hr. immersion; one manufacturer guarantees not more than 0.75 per cent, when the ends are sealed. The compound softens slightly at 55 aeg. Cent, and commences to break down at about 95 deg. Cent Manufacturer's guarantees on minimum puncture voltage, dry, through a 0.375-ln. Will, range from 25 to 50 kv ; after prolonged immersion the dielectric strength will usually be lowered, depending naturally upon the amount of moisture absorbed.

Impregnated Cloth is similar to varnished or oiled cloth, with the difference that the fabric is treated with an impregnating compound. One manufacturer employs a mixture of oxidized oil and asphalt; others use an asphaltum or a paraffin base, dissolved in a thinning material. The Mica Insulator Co. gives puncture voltages for " Kabak" cloth (impregnated cambric) ranging from 1,0*15 to 1,650 volts per mil.

A preparation made of wood or vegetable fiber, finely ground and desecrated, and saturated with a mixture consisting of melted asphalt, incorporated with substances of the resin type, with or without substances of the paraffin or anthracene types. The products resulting are used as substitutes for India rubber, particularly in insulation. Patented by Alfred H. Huth, London.
Note: In my personal research, I find this patent to be John Ambrose FlemIng of University College, Nottingham England. Patent dated the 23d April, 1881, No. 1,762 - U.S. Patent applied for Mar 14, 1882 and assigned patent no. 259271
Insulite was brought up in a letter from Insul (Edison's personal secretary) to Edward Johnson on March 21st 1882 where he had thought that Johnson was making fun of his name in previous correspondence, but it was only Johnson talking about this insulation. Flemming gave Johnson a sample to take back to New York in June, and within a short time it was being used in the insulation of Edison lights that were installed at the London post office. See patent entry notes on this page

Calcium carbonate 75 per cent., Trinidad asphalt 20 per cent., selenite 5 per cent. In place of Trinidad asphalt, neutralite, an asphaltic material made in Berlin, is sometimes used.

Just's Acid-proof Composition is composed of linseed oil, gutta-percha, sulphur, rosin, shellac, and asphaltum or pitch.

Karavodine's process (French) consists of pulverizing the material, adding asbestos fibers which have been previously treated with a binding medium, and subjecting the mass to a higher pressure at higher temperature.

A hard rubber substitute mixture consisting of 20 per cent, resin and asphaltum, 15 per cent, china clay, 11 per cent, kieselguhr. Mixture is allowed to cool; ground dry; with 4 per cent, of sulphur, and 50 per cent, of ground
asbestos fiber. It is elastic and unaffected by acids.

A compound of vegetable oils, coal tar, bitumen, and sulphur, to which are added sometimes a little camphor and various waxes. Occasionally sulphide of antimony is used in place of sulphur. Vegetable astringents, such as tannin, the extract of oak bark, etc., are also used in small quantities to impart toughness. Kerite is the invention of Austin G. Day, and has been used largely for the manufacture of a covering for insulated wire. A later patent taken out by W. R. Brixey, changes the original kerite compound somewhat. Cottonseed oil is eliminated and talc added. The later compound is as follows: Coal tar 25 pounds. Asphalt I5 pounds. Heat together to 350° F. for 'A hour; then add— Linseed oil 70 pounds. Heat again to 350° F. for 7 hours; let stand over night; heat up to 240° F., and add— Sulphur 10 pounds. Heat up to 320° F. in 1/2 hour and add— Sulphur 4 pounds. Heat again to 300° F. and add— Talc 56 pounds. Keep at same temperature 1/2 to 3/4 hour, when
vulcanization will have taken place, and the mixture can be poured into molds or allowed to cool in mass.
(see patent no. 322,802) Also see this entry on this page for Kerite

LAVITE - See Artificial Lava

Liconite, produced in Holland, is described as a mixture of
bitumen and various oils, without India rubber or gutta-percha, elastic and tough, and is claimed to be unaffected by water, dilute acids, and alkalies, and neither flows nor cracks in ordinary temperatures.

A kind of asphalt, large deposits of which are found in the state of Texas. It was at one time thought that it would supersede India rubber, and a company was formed with the idea of manufacturing goods from it. This was in 1892, and India rubber is still used. The chemical composition of lithro-carbon is 88.23 carbon, 11.59 hydrogen, .06 oxygen, a trace of sulphur. Lithro-carbon is jet black in color, is flexible at ordinary temperatures, and is quite tough. Its specific gravity is about 1.028. It is said to be soluble in naphtha, benzol, bisulphide of carbon, etc. It will stand a temperature of 600 degrees F., without giving off its associate products. It resists alkalies and acids, with the exception of concentrated nitric and sulfuric acids. Its manufacture was patented. Used with gutta-percha and shellac it makes an excellent insulator.

A kind of asphaltum of which there are extensive deposits in Trinidad, West Indies. Used chiefly in varnishes. See the Asphalt section on this page

A resin from the shores of the Mediterranean. It occurs in tears of a pale yellow, is brittle, and of a faint balsamic odor. Specific gravity 1.07. It dissolves in acetone, turpentine oil, and alcohol, and is largely used in varnish. The residue obtained in the purifying of mineral asphalt is also called mastic. It is used in general rubber cements for joining stoneware, earthenware, leather, etc. One of special value calls for 10 parts of mastic to 1 part of India rubber, dissolved in chloroform, and makes an excellent cement for fastening letters to glass. The gum also appears in many old-fashioned compounds. Also see Mastic Patent Info

Mineral India Rubber Asphalt is the name of a material composed of refuse tar produced during the refining process of tar by sulfuric acid. It is black, like ordinary asphalt, and quite elastic. It is an excellent non-conductor of electricity, and is not assailed by acids or alkalies. In a naphtha solution, it yields a waterproof varnish for metallic objects, and is used in rubber compounding in place of asphalt.

Natural Pitch is the name given to such kinds of pitch as are not manufactured, such as asphalt, bitumen, etc.—That is, pitch of a mineral origin, except that from coal or shale. See Asphalt.

OZOCERITE aka Ozokerite
A waxy hydrocarbon occurring in Austria, southern Russia, and the United States. It is also known as earth wax. Its specific gravity is 0.9 to 0.95, and it is about as hard as talc. Chemically, it consists of hydrogen 13.75 and carbon 86.25, while its melting point extends from 140 degrees to 170 degrees F. It is often found adulterated with asphalt and sometimes with Burgundy pitch. Purified ozocerite is known as cerasin (AKA ceresine). To make this, the crude material is treated with fuming sulfuric acid, and then filtered through charcoal. Thus prepared it is of a pale yellow color, the melting point ranging from 61 degrees to 78 degrees C. It has almost wholly driven out Stockholm tar as a protection for wires insulated with gutta-percha, when placed under ground. It improves the insulation, but in spite of common belief to the contrary, does not preserve textile fabrics. The best compound for the protection of the insulation on wire consists of 3 parts ozocerite to 1 part of Stockholm tar. It is an insulator of high quality, and while it is in some ways intractable, its wax-like nature allows it to combine with other insulators or with textiles. It is also used as a water-repellent in fabrics, the gum being volatilized by heat, and the fumes passed through the cloth. As a surface covering for tapes or braid, it is often employed and is better than other gums, as it takes a fine polish from the polishing machine. The basis of Henley's system of curing India rubber core is melted ozocerite, which is used under pressure to remove all the moisture, being afterward heated in hot ozocerite, which stops up the pores. Ozocerite, mixed with India rubber, is also the basis of the India rubber compound called nigrite. It mixes, however, with difficulty with India rubber, which is an objection to many proposed uses of it. It also has a mildly deleterious effect on it. The picture above is linked from the mineral collection of the Bringham Young University Department of Geology, Provo, Utah. Photograph by Andrew Silver. BYU index 1-1019b. Image file:http://libraryphoto.cr.usgs.gov/htmllib/btch569/btch569j/btch569z/btch569/byu00818.jpg

One of the first successful asphaltum rubbers used in connection with rubber compounding. It unites perfectly with any grade of crude rubber or with reclaimed rubber. Is said to prevent blistering, and to minimize the harsh action of free sulphur; is acid proof.

A vulcanite which is made extra hard and is not possessed of any special amount of elasticity. The stock recipe for this is: India rubber 100 parts, sulphur 25 parts, magnesia 50 parts, orpiment 50 parts, coal tar asphaltum 60 parts. It is very hard and solid, and takes a high degree of smoothness and polish. (Hoffer.)

The three principal constituents of electrical porcelain are feldspar, clay and silica. There are three feldspars: orthoclase, or pot ash feldspar, which is the most important; albite or indianite, which is soda feldspar; anorthite, or lime feldspar. The two clays used are ball clay, and china clay or kaolin. A standard mixture of these constituents for testing purposes is 20 parts feldspar, 50 parts kaolin and 30 parts quarts. The function of the feldspar is to act as a flux to unite the other constituents into a vitreous mass when fired. There are two processes of manufacture, the dry process and the wet process.

Dry-process porcelain is manufactured by molding the moist raw mixture under high mechanical pressure and then vitrifying by the usual firing process. This grade of porcelain is usually very porous and consequently has a disruptive strength on the order of atmospheric air, or less. At or near disruptive pressures, however, it heats rapidly and is not suitable for high voltage insulation. The safe dielectric strength is on the order of 1,000 volts.

Wet-process porcelain is made by mixing the raw ingredients with water. The mixture la placed in a filter press and the surplus water extracted, leaving a wet plastic cake. The cake is re-mixed in a pug mill to make it more homogeneous, then molded or jiggered into a blank of approximate filial shape, and allowed to dry. When fairly dry it is turned in a lathe or tooled to final shape, dipped in the glazing bath and placed in the kiln preparatory to firing. The glazing mixture is the same as the porcelain except that it contains more flux, and thus melts at a temperature barely sufficient to vitrify the porcelain. The finished glaze is virtually a species of glass. During manufacture porcelain shrinks from 10 to 20 per cent, and much care is required to proportion the parts so that cracking will not result. The thickness is limited both by the shrinkage and the difficulty of obtaining satisfactory vitrification. High-voltage porcelain is made in all cases by the wet process.

For the most part different electrical supplies started being replaced with porcelain at different time intervals depending on the time frame. This could be because time was needed to perfect the different processes needed before being able to manufacture different items more precisely. I will get into this topic in much more detail at a later date, but for now this fact is shown clearly in a statement made in 1905 by Norman Marshall. This is
shown in a clip from a 1905 Marshall Electric Manufacturing Company catalog below, it is stated that about twenty years ago it was "impossible" to get to any degree of accuracy when manufacturing porcelain for electrical supplies. (more on this here)


As a general rule seen by looking through different dated electrical supply catalogs:
Fuse blocks started being changed from wood to porcelain about 1886 or 1887 and by 1888 wood was hard to find.
Rosettes changed from wood to porcelain about 1890 1891 and wood was no longer found much by 1892.
Socket innards first used wood 1879 to 1883 or 1884 and then started using different compositions and vulcanized fiber. Porcelain started being used about 1889 or 1890 and other materials not seen much by 1892 (though there are some exceptions). Porcelain remained the common material for socket innards until about 1922 (and the following years), when Bakelite began to commonly be used in it's place.

Also known as retin asphalt. It is a fossil resin found in brown coal. It is found in roundish masses of a yellow-brown or reddish color, is quite inflammable and readily dissolves in alcohol. At present it is somewhat rare, but if it ever should become common, it would undoubtedly find a place in rubber compounding. Its specific gravity is 1.07 to 1.35.

For road making, a late French patent covers a mixture of rubber and asphalt, that after intimate mixture takes the form of a powder. This is laid hot and under test is very cheap and lasting. See Asphalt

A mixture consisting of rubber and asbestos.
Patent no. 623,982 See Asbestos

An artificial rubber of the same specific gravity as fine Para. In color, elasticity, capability for vulcanization, and durability, it is said to resemble the higher grades of rubber. It is the invention of H. C. B. Graves, London, England, and is made up as follows: Trinidad asphalt 47 to 80 per cent. Oxidized oil 20 to 30 per cent. Vaseline 5 per cent. Sulphur 15 per cent. Chloride of sulphur 3 per cent.

A so-called substitute for guttapercha consisting of 2 parts resin, 2 parts asphaltum, 8 parts resin oil, 6 parts slaked lime, 3 parts water, 10 parts potter's clay, and 12 parts gutta-percha. Five per cent, of stearic acid is sometimes added

SPANISH WHITE often given to a good quality of whiting, but originally given to a good kaolin clay prepared for sale first by levigation, then by treatment with vinegar, which separated out any calcium carbonate it contained, then washing well and drying.

A mineral product from Utah which seems to be a mixture of asphalt and paraffin oils. It is easily manipulated and quite elastic.

A metallic substance used for waterproofing and for certain kinds of packings. It will neither expand, contract, nor rust. It is used instead of wax for sealing purposes, and resists acids, alkalies, and grease. It is often used in place of asphaltum. It can be mixed with tar, pitch, asphaltum, and other similar ingredients, the compound possessing extraordinary adhesive power. Patented by Thomas Smith, London.

Treated Paper is a clear dry paper impregnated with oxidised linseed rid, or a mixture such as oxidized oil and asphalt, or a gum-base varnish. Well-treated papers in thicknesses ranging from 6 to 12 mils break down at about 500 to 750 volts per mil. The Mica Insulator Co. Gives disruptive voltages for Empire oiled papers, in thicknesses of 1.5 to 18 mils, ranging from 1.740 to 800 volts per mil; these values include condenser, rope, bond and cement paper and fuller board. The same manufacturer gives for rope paper treated with a compound of oxidised oil and asphalt, disruptive voltages ranging from 1,600 to 600 volts per mil, corresponding to thicknesses of 5 to 15 mils. According to Jona, the dielectric strength of impregnated paper cable insulation is from 200 to 250 volts per mil, and the dielectric constant is about 2.5 to 4. The value of the constant k for impregnated paper is usually between the extremes of 1,000 and 3,000. Treated asbestos paper is impregnated in this mannor and can be read about here.

Trinidad Asphalt is obtained from the
pitch lakes of the island of Trinidad. Its specific gravity is 1.2, and it is some what soluble in alcohol, while Persian naphtha, oil of turpentine, benzol, and benzoline readily dissolve it.

Pitch and resin are melted together, and then a mixture consisting of crude naphtha, dissolved Para rubber, and sifted whiting is added thereto.

Goldstein claims in an English patent a washer material for the sheet-metal lids of vessels is made, without containing sulphur, of a mixture of crude rubber, talc, asbestos, and gutta-percha.

A compound of viscose, formed by mixing with it hot bituminous matter such as tar, pitch dissolved in coal tar, or the like. The resultant mixture, when solidified, constitutes a material of a high insulating character, and is produced at a low cost. The bituminous and cellulose matter may be mixed in equal proportions, although there is a wide range of compounds that may be made through the use of various proportions of the substances.

A jet black, perfectly hard material, having a smooth polished appearance similar to ebonite. It is not affected by dampness or acids. It is a good insulator, is of low cost, and easily worked.

A composition of asbestos and india rubber, forming a product which is a nonconductor of electricity and stands the severest tests, resisting heat wonderfully. Invented by R. N. Pratt, United States.

A mixture of india rubber, asbestos, litharge, lime, and powdered zinc, to which is added a percentage of sulphur. Mentioned in a patent granted to J. E. Hopkinson, West Drayton, England.

(also known as)
Ebonite, Hard Rubber

The first hard rubber was manufactured by the American Goodyear, and he must be considered as the inventor. Solvents which dissolve the natural raw caoutchouc, and partly dissolve vulcanized soft rubber, have no influence at all on it, and the material offers the strongest resistance to all kinds of acids. If it is exposed for a longer period to a dry temperature of about 400° F., it does not become first sticky and then melt, as happens under the circumstances to raw caoutchouc and vulcanized rubber; it carbonizes at once, and goes through no intermediate stage.

VULCANIZED FIBER - See this page section for Vulcanized Fiber
This material, which is very largely used, is made of cotton paper pulp, chemically dissolved, and solidified under enormous pressure. It is unattacked by ordinary solvents such as alcohol, turpentine, ammonia, etc. It appears on the market in two forms—hard and flexible. The hard fiber resembles horn and is exceedingly tough and strong, while the flexible fiber has the appearance of a very close-grained leather. It is an insulator in dry places, but, as it will absorb moisture, it is useless in places requiring waterproof qualities. It is made in three colors—black, red, and gray. Vulcanized fiber is unaffected by oils or fats, and will stand action of hot grease. Low grades have been found adulterated with chloride of zinc and calcium, to the extent of nearly 50 per cent, of its weight.

A name suggested by Sir E. J. Reed for an india rubber compound invented by Mrs. A. M. Wood. It is said to possess the elasticity of india rubber, to be uninflammable, and not injured by salt water. It is used in making valves, packings, etc. It is claimed that it will not become sticky or soft under heat or steam pressure, and will stand hot grease and other lubricants, and neither acids, alkalies, nor wastes from oil refineries, distilleries, etc., affect it in the least. A compound for woodite or whaleite packing is: asbestos fiber 38 pounds, asbestos powder 38 pounds, earth wax 6 pounds, charcoal finely ground 9 pounds, ground whalebone 20 pounds, Para rubber 80 pounds, and sulphur 5 pounds.

A compound for lining casks, consisting of deodorized copal, rosin, india rubber, and a nondrying fat, with coloring matter, such as asphalt.


Sand, clay and other inert ingredients were used as fillers (most times termed as inactive ingredients) in different compositions.

Most inactive fillers were chosen for their properties and how they would mix into or help the composition.
For example, sand for the silica or quartz which would provide hardness and take heat well, and clay for the high resistance to heat as well as the additional binding properties (and because of its small granular size). You will often times find talc or ground up soap stone used along side of these ingredients, to help provide additional resistance to heat (and hardness if the composition was to be fired with clay or mixed with plaster).

Since sands, clays and some other inert ingredients can play a big part in compositions, using the particle size chart might be of use to you when trying to id some materials.

Boulder Block >200 mm
Stone Cobble 60 mm - 200 mm
Coarse (pebble) 20 mm - 60 mm
Medium (gravel) 6 mm - 20 mm
Fine (gravel) 2 mm - 6 mm
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. . .
Very coarse 2.000 mm - 1.000 mm
Coarse 1.000 mm - 0.500 mm
Medium 0.500 mm- 0.250 mm
Fine 0.250 mm - 0.125 mm
Very fine 0.125 mm - 0.062 mm
. .
. .
. .
. . .

Coarse 0.062 mm - 0.031 mm
Medium 0.031 mm - 0.016 mm
Fine 0.016 mm - 0.008 mm
Very fine 0.008 mm - 0.004 mm
. .
. .
. .
. .
. . .
Coarse 0.00400 mm - 0.00200 mm
Medium 0.00200 mm - 0.00100 mm
Fine 0.00100 mm - 0.00050 mm
Very fine 0.00050 mm - 0.00024 mm
. .
. .
. .
. .
. . .
Update and new info about this topic 11-23-2010 seen at the bottom linked here
This is an example of a composition that was used to manufacture an insulated tip, on some Bergmann moving tongue sockets.

Using the enlarged picture below, and the chart above, it is not hard to id mostly clay (but also likely some very fine sand) as the particles here.

Sand will feel gritty when rubbed between your fingers, while silt and clay will have more of a texture like flour.
Grain size is the scaled size ranges of diameter of the grains found within a granular material (or in this case compositions). The diameter of irregular sized particles, would be measured across the longest distance between two points on its surface. Granular material particles range in size through small colloidal particles found in clay, silt, sand, gravel and boulders. The next smallest type of measuring would be crystallite sizing. This would be where you are measuring the size of a single crystal inside the grain. A single grain can be composed of several crystals. Powders are a special sub-class of granular materials, but we will not be able to id them by grain size. A couple of the most common in compositions would be plaster of paris and talc (or ground soap stone) which is more like a fine dust when used. The two most common granular substances in compositions, would be fine to very find sand or silt, and different clays.

I found this credit card sized 'Comparitor' - (Cheat Sheet of Classic Sedimentologists).

Untouched version here.

Just to bring things up to date:11-23-2010
Sometimes things seem to move really fast for me. I was excited and interested to learn about particle size measuring and felt that it would be a great method for at least figuring out some basics of different compositions. Don't get me wrong, it is a great thing, but I found out much more and other methods of digging deeper too.

For starters in trying to find my own size compares, I had a hard time trying to locate a place to purchase different small samples of grain sizes. So, I purchased online a sieve shaker kit (sand sifter) and a bag of sand from Home Depot. Now at this point at least I could compare grain sizes next to the different compositions I was testing. I still was not sure if this sample was clay based or what it was really made from as I looked through Edison history and documents. I had originally thought this must be a composition based on testing done in 1882 and 1883 (Menlo Park Notebook No. 143). Well, I purchased a large supply of
magnesium chloride and magnesium oxide and went to work duplicating the Edison experiments and composition mixtures and formulas. While I learned so many new things from this testing, I also learned that this composition had nothing to do with these composition recipes. I also learned that the naked eye and a good camera with a macro lens mode, do not compare to a microscope or 400X magnification. I researched for days different types of digital microscopes as to their compatibility, abilities, resolution, options, etc., etc.. I came up with the VMS-004D - 400x USB Microscope. I thought I was going to need to spend a few hundred dollars (but I guess prices are coming down), this cost me under $70.00 on Amazon.com. I should also say that I was concerned that a digital camera type microscope would work just like a digital camera in macro mode, and that it would be a waste of money. I could not have been more wrong! With a camera you can focus at the macro level and then that is it. However, while using the microscope, you can find different zoom levels - and then focus at that level. So, I was able to zoom in to this composition at 400x and focus in on the smallest area. WOW, what a surprise that I was to find. Here is a pdf that I put together of this microscope test, and then for anyone interested, here is a manual for the microscope in case you are looking for one (as this will provide lots more information about it and the software that it comes with). Well as for the binder and this composition the jury is still out as to what it actually is. All different kinds of asbestos was being used at this time as well as new methods being invented. As for cotton, I think that was more of a later thing for these chemical compositions (i could be wrong), but yes as to this being cotton from rag or pulp stock. I am also leaning towards an Edison patent that I found as a real possible for this, but have more testing to do. The time line is about right as the patent (no. 543986) was applied for Oct 20, 1882 and with the title "PROCESS OF TREATING AND PRODUCTS DERIVED FROM VEGETABLE FIBERS".

"I have found that by treating fibrous vegetable materials of any kind with strong hydrofluoric acid a remarkable chemical change takes place in the structure of such material, the result being a transparent or translucent, tough, pliable substance, which is capable of being formed into any desired shape, and is adapted for many different uses. This process is one quite distinct from that of parchmentizing or vulcanizing vegetable fiber by the use of sulphuric acid or chloride of zinc, the resulting products being entirely different."

"The preferable process consists in soaking the fibrous material, which may be a sheet or sheets of paper, a wooden board, a strip or filament of bamboo or similar material, or a thread of cotton or flax; in short, any fibrous vegetable material in the acid, when a substance is produced of transparent jelly-like appearance, but tough and flexible, impervious to water, and a good electrical insulator, and also carbonizable."

"It is evident that this substance is suitable for a great variety of uses, notably ' those for which hard rubber, vulcanized fiber, and even leather have hitherto been employed."

This brings you up to date so far on this topic, I will post more after further testing.


Sand, clay and other inert ingredients were used as fillers (most times termed as inactive ingredients) in different compositions. Most inactive fillers were chosen for their properties and how they would mix into or help the composition.
For example, sand for the silica or quartz which would provide hardness and take heat well, and clay for the high resistance to heat as well as the additional binding properties (and because of its small granular size). You will often times find talc or ground up soap stone used along side of these ingredients, to help provide additional resistance to heat (and hardness if the composition was to be fired with clay or mixed with plaster). Since sands, clays and some other inert ingredients can play a big part in compositions, using the particle size chart might be of use to you when trying to id some materials.

A silicate of aluminum resembling soapstone. It has no advantages over talc, silicate of magnesia, or soapstone in rubber use. Its specific gravity is about 2.25.

ALUMINA (Aluminum Oxide)
The oxide of aluminum and a chief constituent of clay. Its specific gravity is 4.15. Ordinarily speaking, it is a very inert substance, insoluble, and not readily attacked by acids. It is best known in the arts under the forms of corundum, emery, etc. As obtained chemically it is a fine white glistening powder, harsh and dry to the touch. Eaton's formula for the use of oxide of aluminum in making white rubber was 'india rubber 40 per cent., oxide of aluminum 55 per cent, and sulphur 5 per cent.

A white clay containing a large percentage of aluminum (about 30 per cent.) And a certain amount of silica. Its specific gravity is low, and its fusing point 2,400 degrees F.

A natural product in the form of a white powder, free from grit, with a specific gravity of 2.58. It is a remarkable heat resistant, is inert in compounds, and toughens them. It is a partial substitute for zinc oxide, both for color and strength.

See Alumina.

A patented abrasive material made from oxide of aluminum or bauxite.

A German earth. When wetted and dried, it will not absorb water again. Specific gravity about 3.25. It is used in waterproofing, the product being noninflammable. It is mixed with gelatine or size, no rubber being used: 34 parts amphiboline, 9 parts gelatine, 2 parts chrome alum, 2 parts ammonium sulphate, 53 parts water.

The water-free form of sulphate of lime or gypsum, white in color and crystalline in form. Its specific gravity is 2.9. It is formed artificially by heating gypsum so as to drive off all its water. Gypsum that has been overheated in the preparation of plaster of Paris and that has lost its ability to "set" is pure anhydrite. It is used as a filler in rubber compounding instead of whiting or Paris white.

See Golden Sulphuret of Antimony, Black Antimony, and Kermes.

There are really three of these oxides. The trioxide, one most useful in the arts, is a snow-white powder of the specific gravity of 5.2. It may be obtained by treating stibnite or, better still, powdered antimony metal with nitric acid, in a current of air sufficient to carry off the copious fumes arising during the operation, or by treating the chloride of antimony with cold water for several days. A mixture of the trioxide with a small percentage of the insoluble peroxide may be obtained by melting antimony in a cast iron retort fitted with nozzles, through which air may be blown to agitate the melted metal. Dense white fumes arise, which may be condensed in suitable chambers into a snow-white powder. This is used in coloring dental vulcanite.

A shale that has a large amount of clay in it is termed argillaceous, and the substance mentioned in the heading may be briefly termed clay tinted red with oxide of iron. The analysis of argillaceous clay shows: alumina 39, silica 46, water 13, iron, magnesia, and lime 2. It was the basis of a well-known oil-resisting compound that for years baffled imitation. Specific gravity 2.70.

A white brittle metal, with a specific gravity of 4.7 or 3.7, according to its form. Also a popular term for the oxide of arsenic, sometimes called the white arsenic, which is a heavy white powder of the specific gravity 3.7. It is slightly soluble in cold water and to the extent of 10 per cent, in hot water. There are several coloring matters formed from
arsenic. The most familiar are Paris green; realgar, which is red, and orpiment, yellow. The white oxide is rarely used; the red sulphide is, however, often used; the green has been used in mechanical rubber goods, but the color was not a valuable one. Hancock vulcanized gutta-percha with orpiment, and Forster used it in "mosaic work" for floor coverings. An anti-fouling composition for ships' bottoms is formed of gutta-percha, copper, bronze, and arsenic. Another is formed of: india rubber 2 pounds, rosin 7 pounds and arsenic 2 ounces.

The part of the rock remaining after the richer veins of asbestos have been extracted. This remainder is a purely fibrous material, clearly showing its origin. For mechanical uses it is ground fine, and for all sorts of fireproofing purposes is valuable and much cheaper than long fiber asbestos. It makes an excellent compounding material for asbestos packings, etc., In connection with rubber.

A pure fibrous silicate of magnesia, called also mineral pulp. It is mined near Gouverneur, New York, where is the only deposit at present known where magnesia shows so distinct a fiber. Apparently the pulverized mineral is a very strong white powder, but in actual use it has not much more covering quality than whiting. It was at one time used largely in the manufacture of rubber shoes, but, aside from being inert and a good filler, was probably no better than whiting, while it was more costly. It is often used in white goods, in connection with oxide of zinc, to make a light weight compound. It is also known as agalite and asbestine pulp. Its composition is: silica 62, magnesia 33, water 4, iron oxide and alumina 1. Specific gravity 2.80.

ASBESTOS (Amianthus)
A fibrous silicate of calcium and magnesia, also called stone flax, salamander's wool (from an old belief that it was originally made from the wool of the salamander), cotton stone, mountain flax, mountain wood, and mountain cork. Its specific gravity is 3.02 to 3.1 An analysis of the two best known varieties shows: Silica 40.92- 40.25 Magnesia 33.21- o n 40.18 Water of hydration 12.22 14.02 Alumina 6.69 2.82 Protoxide of iron 5.77 .75 Soda 68 1.37 Potash, etc 22 .15 Sulphuric acid traces .31 The longest fiber is possessed by the Italian, which is sometimes 3 feet in length. The Canadian ranges from 3 to 6 inches in length, but it is finer, more flexible, and more easily separated than the Italian. The mineral divides itself naturally into three classes: the first, coarse, brittle, very plentiful, and cheap; the second, possessing well-defined fibers of a brownish-yellow color, fragile, and containing many foreign bodies; the third, with pure white silky fibers which can be woven into textiles. A notable use to which asbestos has been put is in the production of packing and brake linings. Its low heat conductivity renders it particularly useful in steam packings, both for cylinder work and for joints, while its incombustibility has long caused it to be used for fireproofing purposes. There are fibers formed of serpentine rock which are much used as a substitute for genuine asbestos, and answer nearly as well, being, however, shorter in fiber and somewhat less durable.

A snow-white filler of low specific gravity, free from organic matter and indifferent to acids. Used in small proportions, is said to increase both strength and resiliency in soft rubber goods. Used in large proportions, it makes a very hard compound, said to resist superheated steam. Of German origin.

A very light white earthy matter of English origin. Analysis proves it to be an almost pure silica—quite close, in fact, to infusorial earth. Specific gravity 2.00.

See Carbonate of Barium.

A heavy white mineral that in commerce takes the form of a fine white or gray powder. It is obtained by grinding the mineral heavy spar, or by chemical means from barium chloride. Its specific gravity is 4.5. It occurs in commerce under the names "permanent white" and "blanc fixe."
The artificially prepared substance is to be preferred to the finely ground mineral, on account of its less crystalline form. The commercial article should always be examined to determine its freedom from acid impurities. Barytes is chiefly used as an adulterant for white lead and paints. Thus, Venice white contains equal parts of sulphate of barytes and white lead; Hamburg white, 2 parts to 2 parts of white lead; and Dutch white, 3 parts to 1 part of white lead. It is wholly inert when used as an ingredient in rubber compounding, increases the resiliency of rubber, and is a make-weight.

A trade designation for a specially precipitated barium sulphate or "blanc fixe." Used as an inert filler and pigment.
See Barytes.

A black powder obtained by grinding stibnite or antimony ore. It is a sulphide of the metal and is met with more or less pure, as it is often prepared from a highgrade ore. The sulphur contained in it is unavailable for vulcanizing purposes, and if used in compounding it is necessary to add a sufficiency of sulphur to vulcanize. In the purest form, black antimony contains about 28 per cent, of sulphur and 72 per cent, of antimony. It is insoluble in water, but is dissolved by muriatic acid or by caustic alkalies. From its solution in alkali a fine brown-red powder may be obtained by treatment with a dilute acid, and this powder, known as kermes, has the same chemical composition as that mentioned above. Its specific gravity is 4.6. It was formerly used sometimes as a filler, as it was believed to give a soft effect in molded goods. It has been almost wholly displaced, however, by cheaper and better ingredients.

See Plumbago.

Artificial barium sulphate, specially prepared by precipitation from solutions of native barytes. There are several methods giving variations in product adapting it to specific purposes. The specific gravity is 4.10-4.20. The grain is extremely fine and amorphous. It is particularly valuable as a filler and is said to enhance the tensile strength of rubber. See Barytes.

Where zinc ores are found in combination with galena, or natural sulphide of lead, the two are often
smelted together with raw coal and slaked lime, producing a fume called blue powder, which is sold under the name of blue lead. It is an excellent filler, but is not as good as sublimed lead, for example, as it does not impart enough resiliency to rubber. Its chief merit is its cheapness. A very fine quality of blue lead, containing considerable lead oxide, is now on the market, but this must not be confused with either of the two low-grade articles mentioned in these paragraphs. This blue lead is of exceeding fineness, and gives a peculiarly soft finish to the rubber. Used in the place of litharge, it materially assists in the cure, and produces a fine black. As it has a high specific gravity, it often displaces barytes. Blue lead is also a name given to an artificial aluminous substance occurring either as a loose powder or in a concrete form, colored blue by means of some kind of blue dye—aniline or logwood—which does not contain lead.

See Calcium Phosphate.

See Charcoal (Animal).

A transparent amber-colored, incombustible material, found near Bucaramanga, Colombia. It is somewhat similar to asbestos, for which it has been mentioned as a substitute in the manufacture of packings.

An earth containing a large amount of iron oxide of a dark-brown rust color. As mined, it is called raw umber, and the product obtained by calcining it is known as burnt umber. It was formerly used in brown packings, and to a certain extent, in maroon goods.

An ore of the metal zinc, and a carbonate of zinc. Ordinary calamine, which is a silicate of the metal, has a specific gravity of 3.6 to 4.4, and is little used in the arts. Noble calamine, or native carbonate of zinc, is a gray or grayish yellow to brown powder, according to its priority. Its specific gravity is 3.4 to 4.4. Its nature is earthy, and heat has no action upon it. A little of it is said to toughen soft compounds.

Very familiar under the native form of limestone, marble, or chalk. See Whiting.

The chief constituent of bones, forming the bulk of their ashes when burnt. It is a white powder, and when in crystalline mineral form, has a specific gravity of 3.18. It is insoluble in ether, alcohol, or the benzine class of solvents. As it occurs naturally it is known as flour of phosphate and is used in part as a substitute for whiting. Bone ash made from animal charcoal is a common form used in the same way.

Also called gypsum. A common mineral occurring under various forms and names as alabaster, selenite, and gypsum earth. It is pure white in color and has a specific gravity of 2.33. Plaster of Paris is a calcined form of gypsum. In the ordinary recovery of rubber by the acid process, whiting becomes changed from carbonate to sulphate of calcium, otherwise sulphate of lime. See Plaster of Paris and Anhydrite.

Another name for whiting.

A white, inodorous powder of specific gravity about 7.2. It is permanent in the air, but should be kept in the dark, as light blackens it. When pure, it may be wholly volatilized by heat. Calomel blackens under the action of alkalies. It is insoluble in water, alcohol, ether, or benzine. It is the basis of a compound for rendering hose waterproof, the other ingredients being magnesia, black antimony, oxide of zinc, tar sulphur and india rubber. Its function in rubber is to hasten the cure.

Found near Lake Albert, South Australia. After being boiled at a high temperature with caustic soda and washed with a weak solution of sulphuric acid, it assumes a remarkably light, spongy, elastic character. It is used as an absorbent, and as a substitute for cork in linoleum. It has been suggested as an ingredient for use in connection with rubber for playing-balls, etc.

Known also as witherite; has a specific gravity of 4.3. It is a white powder insoluble in water and alcohol. See Barytes.

A name given to a mixture of graphite and oxide of iron. A fine black-brown powder, specific gravity 4.00, although variable. It makes a fair filler in compounding, being inert and strongly coherent. In packings it has been largely used, and also in compounds for wagon covers and tarpaulins before reclaimed rubber came largely into use. It has also been used in cements for card clothing.

A white, soft, somewhat gritty substance, consisting chiefly of carbonate of lime. It is made up of myriads of very small shells of marine animals long extinct. Its nature is earthy; that is to say, it is not easily affected by ordinary bodies. Acids disengage carbonic acid gas from it. Its specific gravity is 2.9. If heated to a red heat, carbonic acid gas escapes and quicklime is left behind. See Whiting.

CHARCOAL (animal)
Animal charcoal is made from bones distilled out of contact with air and has the property, in a high degree, of absorbing odors and soluble coloring matters. It is often used, therefore, in deodorizing rubber goods, and experimentally by chemists for filtering gutta-percha dissolved in bisulphide of carbon, where a perfectly clear product is desired. Its use is advised by Forster in gutta-percha compounds, and by Warne, Jaques, and others for packings to withstand heat. Its specific gravity is about 2.85.

CHARCOAL (vegetable)
This is a popular term for the coal produced by the charring of wood. There are many materials which are really charcoals, such as animal charcoal just quoted, carbon, coke, graphite, and wood charcoal. All of these are practically the same in their pure states, being almost wholly carbon. Wood charcoal—that which is meant in rubber compounding by vegetable charcoal—consists of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen, the last two being in the proportion to form water. It is black and brittle, insoluble in water, infusible, and nonvolatile in the most intense heat. It has the power of condensing gases and destroying odors. Charcoal may or may not be a bad conductor of heat and a good conductor of electricity, these properties depending upon the wood from which it is made. Technically, it is divided into hard wood charcoal and soft wood charcoal. Its composition at ordinary temperatures is about as follows: carbon 85 per cent., water 12 per cent., ash 3 per cent. Specific gravity (powdered) 1.40 to 1.50. It is used in rubber compounding in certain vulcanite varnishes and in certain insulated wire compounds. For the latter use, willow charcoal
is preferable, as it is a decided non-conductor. It has also been used in sponge rubber, with the idea that it acts as a preservative in a compound which is very likely to be short-lived. Macintosh used large quantities of ground charcoal in place of lampblack in some of his compounds. A French substitute for vulcanite paints or lacquers is made of 10 pounds of bitumen, 15 parts of charcoal, and a little linseed oil, mixed by heating.

See Kaolin.

CLAY - (see kaolin)
Clay is a naturally occurring material composed primarily of fine-grained minerals.
Clay was often chosen for its small granular size. As shown in the particle chart above, clay is the smallest particle in size before needing to move to a new type of measurement.

The most popular clay used in early compositions was Kaolin which is a natural 'plastic like' clay which will harden when fired or dried.

A name for a composition used in rubber manufacture in the United States years ago, but not in use now. The name, however, clings to two compounds sold by an English chemical house for use in rubber work. They are of a secret nature. No. 1 is used in the manufacture of oil-resisting valves and in tubing for chemical factories, in the proportion of 30 pounds of compo to 10 pounds of rubber. No. 2 is used for soles for tennis shoes and in mechanical goods, in the proportion of 25 pounds of compo to 10 pounds of rubber.

is the bark of the cork oak, native of Southern Europe and Northern Africa. The chief supplies come from Spain and Portugal. Cork is the basis of the fine black known as Spanish black, which is made by burning the refuse in close vessels. In granulated or powdered form, cork has long been a favorite ingredient in rubber compounding. Not that it is used in any such measure as whiting or barytes, but many mills have used it, and a few in large proportions. Used in connection with india rubber and gutta-percha, it has been the subject of about fifty patents. Its largest use, perhaps, was in the manufacture of kamptulicon, where india rubber is used as a binding material, and in linoleum, where oxidized oils are used in place of rubber. It was also used in what was known as leather rubber, in which palm oil distillate, a little india rubber, and a good deal of granulated cork were used. At one time it was also compounded with rubber and made up into a waterproof felt for hats. It also went into compounds to resist heat, into cricket balls, and into golf balls, where it was compounded with gutta-percha and enough metal filings were added to give the necessary weight. A rubber blanket used in special manufacture also had its surface covered with granulated cork as an absorbent material. In some cases the cork was charred and roasted to remove what resinous matter might be in it, while in others resinous matter was removed by boiling in alcohol. In its usual form cork has a specific gravity of 0.24. Fine grinding eliminates much of the contained air with proportionate rise in specific gravity.

See Kaolin.

A mineral which is nearly pure alumina, yet of great specific gravity, and of exceeding hardness, being inferior, in this respect, only to the diamond. Emery (which see) is a variety of Corundum. Specific gravity 3.90.

See Infusorial Earth.

See Farina.

The average composition of emery may be taken as alumina 82, oxide of iron 10, silica 6, lime \y2. Its specific gravity is about 3.8 to 4. It is prepared by breaking the stone at first into lumps about the size of a hen's egg, then running it through stamps, and crushing it to powder. It is then sifted to various degrees of fineness, and graded according to the meshes of the sieve. Emery is next in hardness to diamond dust and crystalline corundum, and it is used chiefly as an abrading agent. Prior to the invention of vulcanite, emery wheels were made by heating clay and emery in suitable molds, thus vitrifying them like common earthenware. In rubber mills it is chiefly used in the manufacture of what are known as vulcanite emery wheels. It is also used in grinding and sharpening compounds, as hones and strops. (See also Alumina and Corundum.) A certain amount of it also gives' the desired surface to rubber blackboards.

This is sometimes used in small quantities in unusual mixtures as a compound, but has little value, as there are many better substitutes for it. A practical use for it, however, is the brushing of a rubber surface with it before vulcanization, when it is necessary to have printing or stamping done upon that surface afterwards. Farina is made largely of potatoes, another name for it being potato starch. The process consists simply of crushing, sifting, washing, bleaching, and grinding, which is repeated three times, and each time the starch granules separate and are collected. It has a specific gravity of 1.50. Potato starch will be remembered by rubber manufacturers as the, material which the gossamer makers used successfully for a number of years in the production of the "electric" or "corruscus" finish. Bone ash is used sometimes in the place of farina, where rubber surfaces are to be printed upon.

A name given to a group of silicates of which the principal ones are orthoclase or potash feldspar, containing silica, alumina, and potash, and having a specific gravity of 2.5; albite, containing silica, alumina, and soda, specific gravity 2.61; oligoclase, containing silica, alumina, soda, and lime, specific gravity 2.66; and anorthite, containing silica, alumina, and lime, with a specific gravity of 2.75. The feldspars by the action of the weather break down into china clay, kaolin, or pottery clays. Ground very fine, they have been used in the production of rubber enamels and lacquers.

A kind of clay which, better than any other, resists the action of heat and direct flame. It is composed principally of silica and alumina, with traces of the alkali earths. The best is found in conjunction with coal, and is called Stourbridge clay. Its specific gravity is about 2.5, and its color dirty white. Mixed with vulcanized india rubber dissolved in tar oil and sulphur, it forms a compound which, when applied to hot joints, cures at once.

is practically pure silica and its specific gravity is 2.63. The nature of the powder obtained by grinding is always sharp and gritty. It is unacted upon by all ordinary means, and with difficulty even in the laboratory of the chemist. Its principal use, perhaps, is in the manufacture of glass. Flint varies in color from yellow and brown to black. It has been used in erasive rubbers, although pumice stone is better.

Glass powdered and sifted through a fine sieve of 150 meshes to the inch. Glass varies much in its composition, the more common kinds containing lime, while the so-called flint glass contains lead. Potash and soda also enter into the composition of glass; hence all flour of glass will contain those ingredients which entered into the composition of the glass it was obtained from. Its specific gravity ranges from 2.40 to 3.00 for ordinary compositions. Generally speaking, flour of glass may be considered an inert substance under ordinary conditions, though the softer kinds are attacked even by boiling water. It was used by Newton and Wray in insulated wire compounds, and has also been used in certain packings.

See Calcium Phosphate.

Fossil Farina , also called mountain milk, is an earth physically similar to infusorial earth. It is obtained from China and consists of silica 50J4, alumina 26y2, magnesia 9, water and organic matter 13, with traces of lime and oxide of iron. It has been used in rubber compounding for the production of packings and semi-hard valves.

See Infusorial Earth.

This is ground and sifted talc, forming a white, greasy-feeling powder. I^s chemical composition is hydrated silicate of magnesia, the water being chemically combined. Its specific gravity is 2.70. See Talc.

A kind of clay. It is a greenish or brownish earthy, somewhat greasy-feeling substance, having a shining streak when rubbed. Its composition is: silica 70, oxide iron 2.5, alumina 3.5, lime 6, combined water 16, magnesia trace, phosphoric acid trace, salt 2, alkalies trace. Fuller's earth is found in extensive deposits in England, where its annual consumption at one time exceeded 2,000 tons, chiefly in woolen manufacture for fulling cloth. Its specific gravity is from 1.8 to 2.2. It is used in rubber compounding for about the same purposes as infusorial earth, and is also used in the manufacture of rubber type.

As a matter of curiosity it may be noted that this is the most costly ingredient suggested for rubber compounding. It occurs in two forms—the protoxide, a dark green or bluish violet powder, and the teroxide, a brown powder. The use of the protoxide was patented by Ninck. For dental vulcanite it is doubtful if either form of the oxide could be used, even if the price were so low as to bring it within reach. Another formula calls for the mechanical admixture of gold leaf.

See Plumbago.


See Calcium Sulphate.

It is known also as diatomaceous earth, Tripoli, fossil meal, mountain flour and kieselguhr. This is obtained usually from deposits at the bottom of inland waters, and consists of the minute siliceous remains of infusoria or microscopic animals. The largest deposits, in the form of a fine white or pinkish powder, are found in California, Nova Scotia, and in Germany. This earth is a wonderful non-conductor of heat, and, in connection with asbestos, is used in the manufacture of boiler coverings. It is used also in small proportions in various rubber compounds, where it increases both strength and resiliency, though if used in excess it makes a very hard compound. The best grades are wholly free from vegetable matter, are nearly pure silica, and perfectly indifferent to corrosive substances. Under the name of diatomaceous silica it is used in a formula for elastic valve packing. This packing is described as practically indestructible in steam or water, oils, acids, etc. Specific gravity, 1.66 to 1.95.

A natural sulphuret of iron, about 5.20 specific gravity, commonly of a bright, brass-yellow color; a very plentiful mineral often mistaken for gold. It is used in the manufacture of sulphuric acid, while sulphur is also obtained from it by sublimation. It was used by Wame, Fanshaw, and others, in the manufacture of packings to resist a high degree of heat. The sulphur in iron pyrites has also been used in vulcanization. Warne, in one of his heat-resisting packings, patented the use of iron pyrites, and, in the compound that he gives as an example, leaves out the whole or a portion of the sulphur usually employed.

KAOLIN aka: kaolin powder, cornwall clay, china clay - From Kaolinite Al2O3.2SiO2.2H2O
Kaolin is a natural white clay whose chief ingredient is the mineral kaolinite which has the specific gravity 2.20. Kaolin is highly refractory and is one of the principal materials employed in the manufacture of porcelain for insulating purposes. It is used in some rubber compounds, and has been used as an inert ingredient in many documented compositions. Kaolin was also tested as an inert ingredient in the Edison cement tests that I covered here,
and was documented in the Menlo Park Notebook No. 143 (which covered the time periods from December 2 1882 and March of 1883). It was also used in another Edison / Bergmann asphalt composition which I documented here. (Also see spanish white, bougival white)

Kaolin is chemically classed under aluminum silicates, which is basically a compound of alumina and silica which is a natural occurrence in nature (not man made). Kaolin becomes almost like a plastic when mixed with water. Pure kaolin has the chemical composition of Al2Si'O7.2H2O and contains 39.4 per cent. Of alumina or 20.9 per cent. Of aluminum; if water is removed, the residue will contain 45.9 per cent. Of alumina or 24.3 per cent. Of aluminum. Common clay contains from 50 to 70 per cent. Of silica and 15 to 35 per cent. Of alumina, and are not normally able to classify into a definite formula composition as kaolin is.

A brownish-red form of sulphide of antimony, artificially prepared by boiling in carbonate of soda. If left to itself the solution will partly deposit a very fine powder of kermes, while the clear solution may be further treated with a weak acid to obtain the remainder. Kermes will not vulcanize rubber without the addition of sulphur. Its specific gravity is about 4.5. Its composition is 28 per cent, sulphur and 72 per cent, antimony. It is rarely used in rubber compounding.

See Infusorial Earth.

A white poisonous powder soluble in water and alcohol. In its crystalline form it contains about 7 per cent, of water of crystallization, which is easily driven off at a temperature of, say, 80 degrees to 100 degrees'F. Its specific gravity is: crystallized, 2.3; water-free, 2.5. Its use in semi-hard composition was patented by both Goodyear and Payen. India rubber dissolved in oil, to which has been added acetate of lead, is used to fill the pores of certain leathers so that the "filling" shall not come through. It is also used in certain varnishes in connection with guttapercha.

See White Lead.

See Minium and Litharge.

There are several oxychlorides of lead. Their specific gravity may be taken at 7.20. The substance once known as Turner's yellow and another known as Carsel yellow were both of this composition. More recently a white compound has been prepared, which, from its covering power, has been used largely as a paint. Tarpaulin compounds consisting of india rubber, coal tar, and pitch are treated with oxychloride of lead for surface drying, in lieu of vulcanization.

The highest oxide of lead—a dark brown powder with a specific gravity of about 9.00. It is easily decomposed, and from this characteristic it has a strong oxidizing action. Exposed to sunlight or to heat, it yields oxygen and passes into the lower oxide known as red lead. Its oxidizing properties make it a questionable ingredient in compounding rubber, although certain formulas call for its presence.

A white powder of the specific gravity of 6.2, insoluble in water, but readily soluble in caustic alkalies. In Cooley's formula for artificial leather, which has gutta-percha for a base, it is used in connection with dextrine, magnesia, and cotton dust.

The oxide of the metal calcium. It is commonly known in two states, viz.: quicklime, which is the pure oxide, and slaked lime, which is the hydrated oxide mixed with some carbonate. Quicklime is a white solid substance of specific gravity 3.2. It, is not stable, taking up water and carbonic acid from the air and breaking down into a fine white powder, usually called air-slaked lime. Its power of absorbing water has caused it to be favorably used in drying operations, while the insoluble compounds it forms with various oils have led to its being considered as a drier, although this action is not properly to be called one of drying. Lime, air-slaked (specific gravity 2.40), is used in rubber work, where there may be a little moisture in a compound, which it readily neutralizes. It is also used in soft cements in connection with tallow and india rubber, but only where the rubber has been melted and the cement is of the nondrying variety. In compositions like that of Sorel's, lime is introduced to effect a combination between resin acids found in the resin and resin oil. Excess of lime in india rubber is injurious, because it renders the compound too dry, thus inducing oxidation. When used in small quantities, aside from its effect upon moisture, it combines with free sulphur and modifies its continued action upon the rubber. It must be remembered, however, that lime diminishes the resiliency of india rubber, while it increases the hardness of both hard and soft rubber. It may be used in small quantities in insulated wire, and in a measure assists the insulating capacity of the rubber. Rubber also cures quicker when compounded with lime.

One of the oxides of the lead, known as the monoxide. When pure its specific gravity is 9.36. Commercial litharge often contains carbonic acid gas and water taken up from the air. These may be removed by strong heating, It has a peculiar property, the nature of which is yet a debated question, by virtue of which it renders oil more easily oxidized, or, as it is commonly called, rendered dry. There is no reason to suppose that this action is available with caoutchouc. The best litharge is made from pig lead, which is placed in a reverberatory furnace and exposed to a current of air, which burns it to an oxide. It has been noted in rubber factories that certain men seem sensitive to the effects of litharge, often developing symptoms of lead poisoning. Persons who show any symptoms should pay scrupulous attention to personal cleanliness. It is said that such persons have been
cured by taking them out of the mixing room entirely, and putting them to work on vulcanizers, particularly where they open and handle the goods from the finished heat, the theory being that the sulphur fumes neutralize the effects of the lead. Possibly there is a grain of wisdom in this, for the old-fashioned treatment for lead poisoning was sulphur baths and the drinking of water acidulated with sulphuric acid or the acid sulphate of magnesia. Litharge is not only a valuable filler for rubber, but has the faculty of hastening vulcanization in a marked degree. In other words, it is an accelerator. All dry heat goods depend upon it, and in mold work and general mechanical goods it is used whenever possible. Of course, it is generally available for dark or black effects only.

A substitute for litharge, made of a mixture of pulverized and calcined magnesia and oxide of lead.

See Colors.

A calcined white dry powder which, with water, forms a hard, compact mass like marble. Its specific gravity is 3.65. It is earthy in its nature, having no taste, but producing a sense of dryness in the mouth, owing to its absorption of moisture. It is frequently called calcined magnesia from the method of preparation by burning magnesia alba. Its use in rubber is to increase its toughness and resiliency, which it does to a marked degree when used in moderation. Magnesia is also used in the production of compounds like balenite, its use in hard rubber compounds being to increase resiliency as well as hardness. A very small quantity of it is also used in compounds for insulated wire, where it is said to increase the insulating qualities of rubber. Carbonate of magnesia occurs native in the mineral magnesite and, in connection with carbonate of lime, as dolomite.
There exist two kinds of calcined magnesia: the heavy and the light calcined. Heavy calcined magnesia is produced by calcining heavy carbonate of magnesia, which carbonate is won by precipitation of hot magnesia solutions by hot solutions of soda. The light calcined magnesia is produced by calcining the light carbonate of magnesia, and this light carbonate is the precipitation product of magnesia solution together with soda solutions, both carefully cooled. The difference between kinds of calcined magnesia concerns only the structure, so that light calcined magnesia in a dry state seems to have a very big volume, but if the included air is expelled, the big volume cannot have the expected effect, if light calcined magnesia is knealed together with india rubber on the mixing rollers. The vulcanization of india rubber can easily be accelerated by addition of calcined magnesia. Such an addition is often necessary with soft rubbers in open steam-cured compounds. Rubbers with a high amount of resins, such as Guayule, Cameroons, Assam, Borneo, etc., usually give better results if compounded with appropriate additions of calcined magnesia.

Another name 'for black oxide of manganese, which is a black powder having a specific gravity of 4.8. It is not readily acted on in ordinary ways, being unchanged by heat short of bright red. It is insoluble in the ordinary hydrocarbon solvents. Solvent naphtha was treated with peroxide of manganese by Humphry to free it from water.

Oxides of manganese have a destructive effect on rubber, and blacks that contain this, as they sometimes do, are to be avoided. Manganese is used in connection with pitch, turpentine, and gutta-percha for making Brandt's cement.

This is the finely ground chips of white marble, composed almost wholly of carbonate of lime. It is a heavy inert powder used in rubber compounding as a substitute for barytes. It has also been used to some extent in hard rubber, and in the manufacture of hones. Specific gravity 2.65 to 2.75.

A monoxide of lead (lighter yellow than litharge). Specific gravity 7.90. A higher degree of oxidation turns this into a product called minium or red lead. It is often used in rubber compounds, acting practically like litharge.

is the name given to a group of complex silicates containing aluminum and potassium, generally with magnesium, but rarely with lime. Their specific gravity ranges from 2.8 to 3.2, while their color varies greatly. Ground mica is simply one or other of these micas reduced to powder. It is used in rubber compounding chiefly for insulating purposes. It is handled as a cement, compounded with rubber, and cut with benzine, or may be mixed dry on the grinder. It is also used in fireproof coverings in connection with rubber, and it is said that for a semi-hard result that is to come in contact with hot water, rubber and mica form the best compound. Mica in a state of a very fine powder is also known as "cat's gold" or "cat's silver."

Produced by sending blasts of steam through molten slag, which reduces the fluid metal to a fiber similar to the fused glass that is spun into glass silk. Natural mineral wool, such as is found in the Hawaiian Islands, is very brittle, but the artificial has considerable toughness. It is also known as slag wool, or silicate cotton. It appears in light fleecy masses, and at a distance looks like fine cotton batting. It is very cheap, but is easily affected by weak acids, and should be kept away from a moist atmosphere. It has not been largely used in rubber work as yet, but Lascelles-Scott strongly advises its use, giving as reasons its cheapness and its physical fitness. The sulfide's present in it also assist in vulcanization.

See Red Lead.

See Infusorial Earth.

A red lead made from carbonate of lead, while red lead is made from litharge. As a general rule, it contains some lead carbonate. It differs from red lead in color, in that it is more orange red, and more brilliant. The reason for this difference is that it is less crystalline, its particles being much finer than those of red lead. The pigment is also more bulky and much smoother. It is used in finer grades of dark rubber, to assist the cure and impart resiliency. Its specific gravity is 6.95.

A light powder made from specially treated bone. Said not to be affected by acids. Is not affected by heat and is not hygroscopic. Preparation patented in England by J. F. Hunter.

A mineral resembling steatite or soapstone. Its name comes from its having been used in the East as a material for carving miniature temples or pagodas from, as it is soft
enough to be cut with a knife. Its specific gravity is the same as that of soapstone (about 2.70), and its color greenish white. See Agalmatolite.

This has exactly the same composition as whiting, but is a much harder and more compact form of English chalk, and therefore has greater density. Spanish white is a coarser variety of the same material. Its uses are practically the same as those of whiting. Specific gravity 2.70. See Whiting.

See Blanc Fixe.

A white powder composed of two inexpensive but secret substances. When mixed with water it solidifies quickly, and is an excellent binding substance. Mixed with marble dust, it is sometimes melted and cast upon glass or other smooth surfaces, and makes an excellent table-top in place of the zinc tables used in many rubber factories. As it is perfectly impervious to ordinary solvents, neither cement nor india rubber sticks to it. It is manufactured in England.

A non-metallic element or metalloid, although in its combining relation it is more closely connected with arsenic and antimony than with any members of the sulphur group. It is found ordinarily in two states—the ordinary phosphorus and the red variety. Ordinarily phosphorus is an almost colorless or faintly yellow substance, somewhat resembling wax, and giving off a disagreeable odor. It fuses at 111.5 degrees F. into a colorless fluid. Heated in the air to about 140 degrees F., it catches fire and burns with a bright white flame. It dissolves freely in benzol, bisulphide of carbon, and in many oils. Red phosphorus is an amorphous powder of a deep red color, with no odor, and may be heated to nearly 500 degrees F. without fusing. Its specific gravity is 2.10. It does not take fire when rubbed, undergoes no change on exposure to the air at ordinary temperatures, and is far less inflammable than ordinary phosphorus. It is insoluble in solvents of the ordinary phosphorus, and is not poisonous. Mulholland made an insulated wire compound from shellac and india rubber in solution, combined with one to two per cent, of phosphorus, which he cured with chloride of sulphur. As cold-cure gums are of little value as insulators his invention is of doubtful value. He also made a preparation of india rubber, resin and tallow, and shoddy, to be applied in a fluid state where gas came in contact with rubber, adding phosphorus after his solution was finished, to prevent decomposition of the rubber. Duvivier also treated guttapercha with sulphide of phosphorus, claiming that he got an elastic result, but allowing that his compound was damaged by acid vapors, to neutralize which action he mixed carbonate of soda with it. An anti-fouling preparation of English origin was also made of gutta-percha, turpentine, and a little phosphorus.

A peculiar kind of clay containing neither iron, sand, nor carbonate of lime. It is beautifully white, retaining its whiteness when burnt. Its specific gravity is 2 to 2.5. It was used by Mayall in combination with gutta-percha, india rubber, zinc, shellac, and resin for insulating tape, and by Austin G. Day to absorb gases during vulcanization.

This is prepared by calcining gypsum or sulphate of lime. Its properties of hardening when made into a paste with water are well known. It is used sometimes instead of lime in compounding and also for making trial molds for rubber work. It was used in old-fashioned dry heat compounds to prevent blistering. Specific gravity 3.2. See Anhydrite.

A dark-colored pigment manufactured in England and sold to rubber manufacturers for the production of valves. By its use the rubber is vulcanized and goods made which are said to resist successfully the action of cheap lubricants. One pound of plumbagine is used to two pounds of rubber.

This sometimes is called black lead, though having no relation to lead; it is also called graphite. Its specific gravity is 2.1 to 2.2. Its color is black and shiny. It consists chiefly of carbon, but contains more or less alumina, silica, lime, iron, etc., varying from 1 to 47 per cent., but not chemically combined. Black lead is a perfect conductor of electricity. It is more incombustible than most ingredients used in rubber compounding, and is capable of withstanding great heat. It is used in the rubber industry, chiefly in the manufacture of what are known as graphite or plumbago packings. It is a wholly inert substance, safe to use in connection with any compounds, and is not affected by heat or acids, alkalies, or corrosive substances. It is useful also in certain polishing compositions made with india rubber as a base. Almost all German asbestos cements contain a proportion of finely powdered graphite.

was first obtained by burning the mud found at the mouths of several large rivers in Europe with a proportion of clay and lime. Its composition is somewhat complex, containing: lime 55 to 63 per cent., silicic acid 23 to 26 per cent., alumina 5 to 9 per cent., And oxide of iron 2 to 6 per cent., together with magnesia, potash, soda, sulphate of lime, clay, or sand in various small proportions, according to the mode of manufacture. Its specific gravity is 3.00-3.10. Its value as a cement depends upon the interaction of the lime and the silicic acid. In compounding it would have no chemical effects upon rubber, but might of itself become much hardened and thus cause mechanical injury to goods in which it has been introduced. As it occurs commercially, it is a gritty powder of a gray-brown or yellow-brown color. Its only use as far as known in rubber is where it is mixed with tar oil and waste rubber to joint pipes containing fluids.

Coal consists chiefly of carbon, and is universally regarded as being of vegetable origin. Various coals differ widely in their composition and characters, running from the softest kinds of earths to compact and solid bodies like parrot coal, which is so compact and solid that it has been made into boxes, inkstands, and other articles which resemble jet. The average specimen of coal analysis is: carbon 82.6, hydrogen 5.6, oxygen 11.8. Some curious compounds of india rubber and coal have been formed. One, for instance, was a mixture in which two pounds of waste india rubber in a cheap solvent was mixed with nearly a ton of powdered coal (specific gravity 1.25-1.75), which contained some clay and peat, the use being for an artificial fuel; another use was in the production of hard rubber.

A light, porous, ashy stone, specific gravity 2.202.50, the product of volcanic action, its structure being that of a mass of porous glass. Its composition is a mixture of silicates of aluminum, magnesia, calcium, iron, potassium, and sodium, varying with the particular lava whence it had its origin. Its action on india rubber will be quite inappreciable, chemically speaking, but its mechanical action will be that of a sharp cutting powder. Ground fine, it is used in the manufacture of erasive rubber, and is also used compounded with the rubber in the manufacture of hones. Recent patents call for its use in certain semi-hard compounds, its presence being said greatly to increase their toughness. Mixed with lard oil to a thick paste, this has been used for polishing india rubber It is particularly valuable for use in the dry-heat cure of such articles as water-bags and bottles. The goods filled, bedded and covered with fine pumice powder are evenly cured without discoloration or change of color. In this respect pumice is superior to talc for the purpose, and the goods are more easily washed clean.

A porous lava found near Naples, used chiefly, when mixed with ordinary lime, in forming hydraulic cement. Compounded with marine glue, it is used as a varnish for preserving metallic articles from corrosion.

Artificially deposited chalk colored by any suitable pigment—usually one of the red oxides of iron. See Chalk.

An oxide of the metal, which is also known as minium. Prepared from pure massicot or from white lead. Its specific gravity is 8.6 to 9.1. A scarlet crystalline granular powder, of rather strong coloring powers. As a colorant in rubber work it would be unavailable, since the sulphur necessary to vulcanize would render it more or less black, owing to the formation of sulphide of lead. It is sometimes used, however, in place of litharge. It is also used in "hot" cements of gutta-percha and for varnishes such as those made of india rubber, linseed oil, etc., for covering the backs of mirrors. See Minium, Massicot, and Orange Mineral.

Usually considered to be the residuum of naturally decomposed impure limestone, and varying in composition with its sources. Specific gravity 1.98. That from Derbyshire, England, shows much alumina; other sorts have more silica. The name is sometimes incorrectly given to "Tripoli," which is a species of infusorial earth. It can have no particular action on rubber, as it is very inert, but it is used in certain packings, and was also used by Warne in insulated wire compounds.

was documented as being used by Edison, his Companies and his employees in many different compositions and experiments. Here in a letter from Edison to Charles Batchelor (December 28th 1882) "finely powdered sand" is used in a new composition being tested.

A non-metallic element or metalloid of a darkbrown color, analagous to sulphur. Specific gravity 4.80. It has no smell and is a non-conductor of electricity. It occurs rarely in nature, being found chiefly as a selenide in combination with lead, silver, copper, or iron. It is the basis of an unused process for vulcanizing india rubber.

Pure silica. See Flint.

The oxide of the metal silicon, familiar in the forms of flint, quartz, etc. Its specific gravity is 2.6. It is without action on india rubber, except mechanically speaking. It is used in Chapman's vulcanite enameling solution, made of india rubber, sulphur and silica. See Flint.

See Mineral Wool.


See Mineral Wool.

See Lime.

A soft, laminated, argillaceous material, chiefly aluminous in composition, and allied to the clays. Finely ground, it makes a good semi-hard valve of a blue-gray shade. It has been also used in general rubber compounding. Specific gravity 2.70.

A silicate of magnesia, combined with more or less alumina and water. It is really a massive form of talc. In color it is white, reddish, or yellow, is soft and greasy to the touch, is easily cut, but is hard to break. Its specific gravity is 2.26. It is used often in the place of French talc, for keeping rubber surfaces from sticking together during vulcanization, and also for burying dark colored goods and holding them in shape while they are being cured. Used as an adulterant for rubber, it makes an excellent semi-hard compound for valves. It is also used as a basis compound in the manufacture of insulated wire. See Talc.

A vegetable substance allied closely to cellulose. It occurs in regular lumps composed of granules which have a definite character, according to the variety of the plant from which they were derived. When dry its specific gravity is 1.53. Commercial starch contains usually about 18 per cent, of water and, if kept in a damp place, will absorb 33 per cent, of water. It was much used formerly on solarized work. Torrefied starch is obtained by roasting the common form, and is used in artificial leather compounds.


A white lead known as sublimed lead is used very largely in rubber manufacture. It is a fine white amorphous powder and imparts a decided toughness to rubber compounds. It acts both as a filler and chemically. Its peculiar velvety fineness makes it mix intimately with the rubber, and gives a very fine finish, showing no shiny crystals on the surface. The oxide of lead in the sublimed lead will also bind free sulphur in the rubber. The amorphous state of the sublimed lead makes the action of the lead oxide in this much more effective than the action of litharge, and the result is a very smooth, lively, jet-black rubber. Specific gravity 6.20.

See Lead Acetate.

is a mineral allied to mica. It is composed entirely of silica and magnesia, in the proportions of 67 to 73 of silica, 30 to 35 of magnesia, and 2 to 6 of water. Specific gravity 2.70. Its colors are silvery white, greenish white, and green. Talc slate is more like steatite and is used for similar purposes. French talc is used very largely in rubber factories in all lines of work for preventing surfaces from sticking together, during either manipulation or vulcanization. It is also used commonly for dusting molds to prevent the gum from sticking to the metal and extensively to bury white goods and keep them in shape during vulcanization. It is used sometimes in compounding, but any great amount of it produces a stony effect. It makes, however, an excellent semi-hard packing. It is used further in compounds for soft polishing, with india rubber as a binding material.

A white earthy material used in general rubber compounding. It is allied to diatomaceous earth, presumably, TIN and has the same usage. Its analysis shows: Moisture 5.59, silica 83.9, sesquioxide of iron 1.2, alumina 2.8, oxide of manganese trace, potash trace, combined water and organic matter (by ignition) 6.47, loss and undetermined 0.04—total 100.

The form most frequently used in the arts is the dioxide. This is a white water-free powder, of the specific gravity of 6.7, insoluble in acids and such solvents as naphtha, petroleum, etc. It is infusible, except at a very high temperature, tasteless and inodorous. French oxide of tin is a carefully prepared and purified form of the dioxide. It is rarely used in rubber work, although Newton recommends it for a basic ingredient in rubber type. The other oxides of tin are at present merely of chemical interest.

See Infusorial Earth and Rotten Stone.

A trade designation for colloidal barium sulphate. See Blanc Fixe. Wheat Flour is used in making matrices for rubber stamp work, and sometimes as a compounding material in india rubber, though this is not to be advised, as the flour is apt to sour. A standard low grade of wheat flour known as "red dog" is particularly suited to the purpose of dusting the skim coating of wool linings, because, owing to its peculiar texture, it is easily removable by a wash of thin cement in the making-up process and does not impair the adhesion to another rubber surface. A large and important use for it has been in the dusting of black goods, such as rubber coats, so as to keep them from sticking together, should they accidentally touch during the dry heat of vulcanization. Wheat flour is preferable to almost anything else, for the reason that it washes off after vulcanization, without leaving any trace in color or stain. It is used on the goods known as "dull finished."

This is a mixture of hydrated oxide and carbonate of lead and is a heavy white powder. It is unstable in color, however, as sulphur compounds, especially in the gaseous forms, easily attack it and blacken it by reason of the formation of sulphide of lead. Its specific gravity is 6.46. Sometimes it is adulterated with lead sulphate, chalk, carbonate, or sulphate of baryta, or pipe clay. The simplest test for the purity of white lead is to heat it in a thin glass vessel with some very dilute pure nitric acid; if pure it will dissolve completely. If chalk be present it also will pass into the solution, in which it may be detected by the addition of caustic potash, throwing it down as a white cloud. The best white lead is made by the old-fashioned Dutch process, which consists of packing the metallic lead, cast in the form of buckles to present a large surface for corrosion, in covered earthen pots, in the bottom of which is placed acetic acid. The pots, thus prepared, are stacked and buried in a mass of spent tan bark to conserve the heat caused by the reaction of the volatile acid on the metal. The original "triple compound," patented by Goodyear, consisted of india rubber, sulphur and white lead.

Whiting Or Chalk, as it is often called, is carbonate of lime. It is a white earthy material of the specific gravity of 2.7 to 2.9. It is made from English chalk, which is crushed, floated, and run through a filtering process, and dried in cakes made in varying degrees of fineness by a system of dry grinding and bolting. Where whiting is kiln-dried hastily, or under extreme heat, it is apt to become calcined, which gives it a hard, gritty feeling. Air-dried whiting is considered the best. Whiting is in reality a purified form of carbonate of calcium, of a very soft or flocculent quality. The finest grades are known as "gilders'" and "extra gilders'." It is used more generally in rubber compounding than any other material, except sulphur. Used moderately, it increases the resiliency of rubber, but adds to the hardness. It does not, however, produce the stony effect that many ingredients give. The molds used in rubber-stamp making are composed of whiting, wheat flour, glue, and carbolic acid. Whiting is liable to absorb considerable quantities of water from the air. It is customary in many mills, therefore, to keep it in large bins that not only are covered but have steam pipes in the lower portions to drive out any moisture from the material.

See Carbonate of Barium.

See under active ingredients

The crystals contain about 44 per cent, water of crystallization. Specific gravity 2.03.

See Colors.


Molded insulation's are either cold molded or hot molded depending on which active ingredients or binding agents and methods are chosen. If it is a chemical reaction that takes place with a mixture (without heat), this would be called a cold molded composition. It can still have hard, stony, vitreous materials, fibers, etc. Added to the mixture, but the binding agent would be one of two classes. It would be either a pitch, or resin that is dissolved using chemicals, or a direct chemical reaction such as lime, silica and water mixed with magnesia. An example of other chemical mixtures would be oxide of magnesia mixed with chloride of magnesia or zinc oxide with zinc chloride. Hot molded compositions are normally molded using pressure and heat at the same time. Normally the binding materials used for hot molded compositions, are those that are hard when cold and soft when heated. Most any of the raw insulating materials can be mixed with the binder as an inert ingredient. Often times the materials are mixed together by use of a grinder and then heated to fuse the binders while being placed into a hot mold and compressed. The composition is then allowed to cool and harden under pressure.

+ MAGNESIUM CHLORIDE - aka: magnesia cement
magnesium chloride is mixed with hydrated magnesium oxide (burnt magnesia), magnesium chloride forms a hard material long called sorel cement. Important to know about different types of binders, is that some are hydraulic and some are non-hydraulic. When magnesium chloride is mixed with hydrated magnesium oxide it becomes a hydraulic cement. It hardens because of chemical reactions caused by the hydration process (when the water is added). The hardening process can even take place underwater. The chemical reaction that results when the dry or dehydrated cement powder is mixed with water, produces hydrates that are not water-soluble. Non-hydraulic cements like plaster for example, must be kept dry in order to retain its strength and binding qualities. If testing, the approximate chemical formula would be: Mg4Cl2(OH)6(H2O)8, corresponding to a weight ratio of 2.5-3.5 parts MgO (magnesium oxide) to one part MgCl2 (magnesium chloride).

ZINC OXIDE + ZINC CHLORIDE - aka: sorel cement
Zinc chloride reacts with zinc oxide to form a hard and transparent cement, which was first investigated in the 1855 by the well known frenchman Stanislas Sorel (the inventor of "sorel cement"). This combination of zinc oxide and zinc chloride is simply a variant of the same cement, (only using zinc oxide with zinc chloride instead of the magnesium compounds). When used in a composition, it is combined with filler materials such as sand, crushed stone, talc, etc... This compound has been know to be used in the past for grindstones, tiles, artificial stone (cast stone), cast floors, artificial ivory (billiard-balls). It can withstand 10,000 - 12,000 psi of compressive force whereas standard portland cement can only withstand 2,000 psi.
Its chief drawback is its poor water resistance, making it unsuitable for many outdoor uses.


Filed Sep 17, 1880 - Jane Meiiriam, of Milwaukee Wisconsin
Asbestos paper

Filed September 12th 1881 - Fredrick M. Hibbard of Goshen Indiana - Assigned William B. Lehman same place
Consists of asbestus, fifteen pounds; litharge, five pounds; gypsum, ten pounds; coal-tar, forty gallons
(also see 329,740)

Filed Oct 21st 1881 - Frederick W. SchboeDer of New York, New York
Consists of glue, mastic, dextrine, asbestus, chrome-alum, chloride of iron, and glycerine

Filed Mar 14, 1882 - John Ambrose Fleming of University College, Nottingham England
Consists of ground up wood or vegetable fibrous material like flour-bran, straw, cotton, jute, hemp, paper mache - impregnated it with melted paraffine-wax or mixtures of paraffin's, wax and resin which may be fine sifted sawdust, or ordinary sawdust of finer division, or any of the other materials above mentioned, in a finely-divided state. The whole is stirred during the process of saturation, and becomes attack, pasty mass, which is then placed in molds of the required shape. In order to obtain a better imitation of ebonite, or to impart to the material any required shade of color, I may add to the material in the course of preparation a small quantity of lamp-black, vegetable black, or other vegetable coloring-matter By the term " paraffine-wax " as used in this my specification I mean any of the substances known by the ordinary names of "
ozocerite" or "solidified petroleum" or "mineral wax," or, more strictly, a substance, whose main constituents are hydrocarbons, the composition of which is denoted by the formula CnH2n+a; and by the term "resin" as used in this my specification I mean any of the substances known as "resin" or "rosin" various species of pines and firs - The materials prepared according to my invention I propose to designate "insulite."
See the entry on this page Insulite where he later also used asphalt in the place of other materials

Filed August 15th 1882 - Murdoch Mackay - London, England
Consists of mineral wax as paraffine-wax or ozocerite-wax, vegetable tar (woodtar), shellac, and asbestus.
(also see 310,899)

Filed Jun 28, 1883 - Nathaniel C. Fowler of Boston Massachusetts - INDESTRUCTIBLE SAFE AND FIRE PROOF COMPANY
Consists of calcined plaster-of-paris, finely fiberilized asbestus, lamp-black, and pumice-stone

Filed Mar 15, 1884 - Levi Haas of Chester Pennsylvania
A compound material composed of vegetable fiber, leather or shoddy waste, crude asbestus, litharge, and sulphur, pitch and whiting blended with thinned asphaltum,

Filed Sep 12, 1883 - Isaac P. Wendell of Philadelphia Pennsylvania
Consists of a compound composed of silicate of soda, asbestus, and sulphur for the principal ingredients, to which may be added, if desired, a quantity of black-lead and paraffine or other lubricating oil

310,205 Fabric for covering heated surfaces. — H. W. Johns.
Consists of ropes or rolls of fibrous materials, woven with sheets of paper, sheathing
Asbestos Paper

310,334 Asbestos paper.—S. Tingley.
A sheet of
asbestos paper is covered on one or both sides with thin paper, coated with a salt, which will form a glaze when heated to high temperatures.

Filed September 22 1884 - Hermann Kettmann - German Empire
Asphaltic concretes are made by mixing asphalum or bitumen with pulverized material, while the latter are suspended in water.

Filed June 11th 1884 - Murdoch Mackay - London, England
Consists of lac, gum sandarac or gumkauri, carbon or asphaltum, rosin, ivory, black, and asbestos.
(Also see 268,034)

Filed July 10th 1883 - D. Austin Brown of Boston Massachusetts
Plastic cement mixture consists of infusorial earthy lime and asbestos.

311,401 - PAINT
Filed March 27, 1884 - William H. Wilber
A priming paint composed of liquid asphaltum, rosin, linseed oil, turpentine or naphtha and white lead.

Filed November 28, 1884 - Thomas A. Huguenin of Charleston South Carolina
Composition for curing paving blocks or bricks.—T. A. Huguenin. Consists of coal tar, bitumen, pine gum and alum.

Filed June 12, 1884 - Ephbaim Ivett and Alexander Geoege of Clay Bank, Ohio
Consists of a mixture of burned and ground fire clay, unburned and ground fire clay, sifted wood ashes, sand, salt, black lead, asphaltum and water.

Filed Feb 13, 1884 - Daniel Beobst, of Portland, Michigan
Mixture of coal tar, asphalt, salt, alum, gypsum, Roman cement, sulphur, pine resin, slacked lime, tallow, and copperas.

Filed Apr 15, 1884 - Andrew Deeeom of Paterson New Jersey
Consists of crude Trinidad asphaltum, beeswax and oil.

Filed Oct 24, 1884 - William Gee & Ellwod Hendrick of New York, New York
A compound consisting essentially of asphaltum and caoutchouc oil.


Filed - March 9, 1885 - James W. Ellis (ASSIGNOR OF TWO-THIRDS TO JOSIAH W. PAEKEE) both of Brooklyn, New York
Consists of asphaltum, resin, petroleum, vulcanized rubber and sulphur.

Filed Apr 8, 1885 - , John Ambeose FilmIng, London England
Consists of vegetable fibre impregnated with a mixture of melted bitumen, the silicates of magnesia, lime, iron and alumina, and amber or other resin.

Filed Oct. 2, 1884 - Judson Rice and Andrew Steiger, and Isaac Lane Thurber of San Jose & Santa Cruz California
Pure native asphaltum is softened with hot water or steam and pressed under heated rolls.

Filed February 27 1885 - Egbert S. Ferguson of Waukegan Illinois - William Schumacher and William Tubman both of Chicago
Compound consists of pine pitch, rubber, and asbestos, mixed with beeswax, tallow or linseed oil

Filed March 23, 1885 - John T. Greenwood, Jr. of Beloit Wisconsin
Composition consisting of coal-tar, silicate of soda, asbestus, plaster-of-paris, salt, red lead, litharge, asphaltum, and Venetian red or other pigment or coloring-matter

Filed Jun 29, 1885 - Austin G. Day, of New York, New York
The process consists in first mixing together cotton seed oil and coal tar or bitumen, and afterward adding linseed oil and sulphide of antimony or other sulphide, with or without the addition of sulphur. (Also see this entry on this page for Kerite

Filed April 2nd 1885 - Fredrick M. Hibbard of Goshen Indiana
Paint consists of coal tar, beeswax, resin, litharge, gypsum and asbestos
(also see 249,239)

Filed October 7th 1885 - Mark S. Thompson of New York, New York,
Asbestos is mixed with water to form a plastic mass, which is placed in molds, and then exposed to a high temperature.

Filed Dec 28, 1883 - Amzi L. Babber - BARBER ASPHALT PAVING COMPANY of Washington, D.C.
Consists of refined Trinidad asphaltum, residium of petroleum, or heavy petroleum oil and pulverized limestone
Also the same name as a trade name listed here. Also see Mastic

Filed Jul 21, 1884 - Amzi L. Babber - BARBER ASPHALT PAVING COMPANY of Washington, D.C.
Trinidad or similar hard asphalt, combined with Trinidad, Mexican, Vene. zuelan or other naturally soft or liquid asphalt, sand and pulverized limestone

Filed November 2, 1886 - Henry W. Morrow of Wilmington, Delaware
This patent is for the trunk invention of the fiber named and called Celluvert. See the entry on this page for celluvert patent below - read more about my celluvert research here.
Filed May, 25,1885 - Henry W. Morrow of Wilmington, Delaware
The Process of treating paper and other vegetable fibrous substances uniting them in layers (with the chemicals below) and pressing the layers of treated sheets to cement them together. The ability to manufacture articles made of sheets of paper or similar material treated with no nitric acid or one of its salts, in connection with another solvent or other solvents of cellulose, and united in layers. The sheets or slabs thus produced are useful for various purposes—such, for instance, as journal-bearings, belting, trunks, washers,, cop-tubes, skaterollers, etc.. They may also be made into knife-handles, and various forms and shapes of non-conductors of electricity. The sheets or slabs may be made either hard and hornlike or pliable and leather-like, according to the use to which the "celluvert" is to be put. The sheets or slabs may be softened or made pliable by immersion in a bath of glycerine or saccharine matter, or both, the said bath consisting of about two-thirds water and one-third
glycerine or saccharine matter, or glycerine and saccharine matter combined. If desired, a compound sheet may be formed by cementing a sheet of woven material between sheets of paper by the process described above. Starch, gum, mucilage, dextrine, or any form of cellulose may be advantageously added to the paper or fabric, either during the manufacture of the same or before treatment in the manner above described, or these substances may be dissolved in the nitric acid or its equivalent transforming fluid before described previous to the immersion of the paper or similar material therein. If desired, any mineral or earthy substance starch, gum, dextrine, or any form of celhrlose may be sifted in or between, the layers of paper or similar material as they are being wound onto the roll. I am aware that nitric acid has been used in the treatment of paper pulp, and also in the treatment of single sheets of paper or fabric; but I claim as my invention the process herein described of treating paper and other vegetable fibrous substances, said process consisting in subjecting them in sheet form to the action of nitric acid or a salt thereof and uniting two or more layers so treated. See other celluvert or Henry W. Morrow patents: 346,823 (Apr 8, 1886), 378,016 (Oct 24, 1887)

Filed April 25, 1889 - Nineveh R. Bonner and Ira L. Burlingame Pana Illinois
Composition consisting of mortar - cement, yellow ocher, Venetian red, rosin, sulphur, alum, burnt umber, lamp-black, asbestus, asphaltum, liquid japan, and coal-tar

Filed December 2, 1892 - Joseph Hoffman of Schenectady New York - Assigned GENERAL ELECTRIC CO.
One hundred pounds of asbestus fiber and fifty pounds of powdered asbestus, six pounds of bees-wax and twelve pounds of asphaltum dissolved in two and one half gallons of benzine, thirty pounds of shellac and one half pounds of albumen and about ten pounds of drop-black

Filed May 16, 1894 - Duncan Macfaklan of Philadelphia Pennsylvania
Several combinations:
a) mineral wool, ten percent.; Black lead twenty percent.; Chloride of aluminum, ten percent.; Kaolin, forty percent.; Water,twenty percent
b) Asbestos or mineral wool, twenty-five percent.; Graphite, twenty-five percent.; Silver, twenty percent.;Junior sugar,five percent.; Water, twenty-five percent.
c) Asbestos, thirty percent.; Graphite, twenty percent.; (German silver, twenty percent.; Gum or sugar, five percent.; Water, twenty-five percent.
d) Asbestos or mineral wool, twenty-five percent; silicate of soda, twenty percent.; Water, twenty-five percent.; Graphite, thirty percent.
e) Asbestos or mineral wool, forty percent.; Water, twenty-five percent.; Graphite, twenty 60 percent; rubber and gutta percha. Fifteen per cent.
f) Asbestos, twenty-five percent.; Whiter, tweiity-five percent.; Graphite, thirty percent.; cement..twenty percent

Filed March 26, 1894 - Oscae Stiles of Omaha Nebraska
Combination of six parts of alcohol, three parts of shellac, three parts of asbestos, and one part each of mica and alum

Filed July 30, 1894 - Alexander C. Thompson of St. Louis Missouri
Consists of alcohol, one gallon; gum shellac, five pounds; pulverized asbestos, six pounds; pulverized French chalk, four pounds; balsam tolu gum, one pound; ground mica, four pounds.

Filed October 31, 1889 - Rufus N. Pratt of Hartford Connecticut
Composition con
sisting of dense hard rubber, laminated mica, and fibrous asbestos combined as specified

Filed Jun 3, 1898 - Arthur W. Chesterton, of Boston, Massachusetts
A mixture consisting of rubber and asbestos Also see Rubberbestos

Filed Oct 6, 1898 - George B. Painter, Schenectady New York
This may be of any suitable fibrous or insulating material. I have used both hard rubber and insulating fiber made by any of the processes now well known in the art with good effect.

Filed Jun 6, 1902 - Norman Marshall, of Newton Massachusetts
Elastoid Fibre Company - Elastoid Fibre
is largely composed of asbestos fiber and a special binder and in process of manufacture is treated at a temperature of about 650 degrees Fahrenheit. "H. T. Elastoid." Laboratories' tests show that this lining is reasonably uniform in thickness and diameter; is chemically neutral; has good dielectric strength; is absorptive of moisture to about the same degree as ordinary fiber linings; and is practically non-combustible. Its properties are but little changed by exposure to temperatures below 300 degrees Fahrenheit. This lining is judged to be suitable for use in mogul sockets and receptacles, including those provided with shades, reflectors, fixtures or other enclosures above them and used with gas-filled incandescent lamps of above 100-watt capacity.



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