Celluloid is generally regarded as the first thermoplastic. It was first created in 1862 and registered as 'celluloid' in 1870. It was used to imitate ivory. It is still in use today for table tennis balls and guitar picks. It had many uses in the jewellery trade and in the home. It was used to make jewellery, hat pins, buttons, jewellery boxes, ring boxes, dolls, dressing table sets, brushes and combs etc. It is often called ivorine or French ivory. It is a fragile material and quite flammable. It can deteriorate over time. Pieces that show deterioration should not be put with other pieces. A good book about celluloid and its care is 'Celluloid Collectibles' by Shirley Dunn - published by Collector Books.

Copyright © 2010 Gillian Horsup

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