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Spare Aeola Buttons

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For proof of the flammability of celluloid, go here.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/showbiz/2173870.stm

 

(Not for accordion fans of a nervous disposition :o )

Thanks Malcolm, I hadn't heard about that incident, but it's a story that I will retell. (It might even earn me a few free pints along the way ! :rolleyes: )

 

I see that it made headlines in the Daily Mirror, The Sun, the Daily Star and the Daily Mail :

 

rolf_dailymail.jpg

 

I nearly mentioned the fact that celluloid is reckoned to be unstable and capable of spontaneous combustion (and that its chief constituent is cellulose nitrate = "gun cotton", an explosive), but I didn't want to alarm Helen. ;)

 

Thank goodness my accordions are wood-finished. :)

 

(Edited to add newspaper articles.)

Edited by Stephen Chambers

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I nearly mentioned the fact that celluloid is reckoned to be unstable and capable of spontaneous combustion (and that its chief constituent is cellulose nitrate = "gun cotton", an explosive), but I didn't want to alarm Helen.  ;)

 

 

Some years ago, I worked for the British Film institute. At that time, old nitrate film was stored in an underground bunker originally designed as a fallout shelter in case of nuclear war. There was a program of copying old film on to modern safety film, and there was a strict limit on the number of reels that could be taken out at any one time, to minimise the possible conflagration that could occur.

 

We were told that nitrate film once alight would continue burning even if thrown into water.

 

- John Wild

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The first to use plastic were "those truly progressive makers, Messrs. Lachenal" (to quote J. A. Black, writing in January 1895 about the firm's pioneering use of aluminium). The material in question is a variety of Casein (the protein in milk, hardened by immersion in formaldehyde) called Erinoid, so-named because it was developed by the Condensed Milk Co. of Ireland (a.k.a. "Erin"), though it was then manufactured in Stroud, Gloucestershire, from 1914-1980.

 

Casein was made in rod, sheet and tube from 1927, and Lachenal's seem to have started to use Erinoid for concertina buttons soon afterwards. But unfortunately those late Lachenal instruments had very domed buttons and very strong springs, not a happy combination for ease of playing !

 

Following the closure of Lachenal's, in 1933, both Wheatstone's and Crabb's started to use the material.

 

And having said that, I was looking at the Wheatstone ledgers for 1926-7 last night and found that they seem to have experimented with white Erinoid on two Aeolas (#31355 and #31358) as early as November 1926, though it's unclear whether it was for the buttons or (more likely?) the sides of those metal-ended instruments... :unsure:

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