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Galalith




Galalith (Erinoid in the United Kingdom), derived from the Greek words gala (milk) and lithos (stone), is a trade name for one of the earliest plastics.

Additional recommended knowledge

It was invented in 1889 by Adolph Spitteler and Wilhelm Krische from the milk protein casein. At the beginning of the 20th century, a French chemist, J.C. Trillat, discovered the means to insolubilize casein by immersion in formaldehyde.

This material revolutionized the button industry with its capacity to create structural effects and imitate all sorts of material: horn, tortoiseshell, ivory, wood, etc. It was also used in the 1930s for jewellery, pens, umbrella handles, etc. World production at that time reached 10.000 tons.

One of its great qualities is its porosity, making it ideal for dyeing, by immersing white galalith in coloured baths. Galalith cannot be moulded, and is manufactured in the form of sheets of different thickness, sticks and tubes, and is therefore worked by hand.

 
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Galalith". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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