Thursday, December 2, 2010

Cthulhu's Treasure

I first noticed Cthulhu's Treasure Box on Tuesday and it's already filling up with interesting material. The blog, written primarily in German, focuses on documents and photographs from the classic era of the Mythos. Here's one of the more interesting tidbits:

From 1916, a laminated railway pass featuring the owner's photo pasted to the opposite side. I've been puzzled by archival pictures of what appear to be laminated IDs from long before the invention of clear thermoplastics, and this example helps to explain them. Based on the folds and adhesive stains I'm guessing that the protective film is cellophane.


R. Mark Adams, Ph.D. said...

Interesting! I didn't think that cellophane was in common use until the 1920s, even though it was invented in the early teens...

Wataru said...

oh Thanxxx for linking.... :)
i really love`s your Blog and work.
Thanx for inspirations.

Propnomicon said...

@ R. Mark Adams, Ph.D.

The only other material I could think of is waxed paper, but the laminate looks too clear for that.

Surreality said...

The laminate looks clear, indeed.

By 1913, the Swiss chemist who invented cellophane (Jacques E. Brandenberger) worked for the newly formed La Cellophane company in France.
Given that these are Austrian papers from 1916 and that the use of cellophane started spreading in Central Europe before the war, it seems plausible that the material should be cellophane.

Propnomicon said...

@ Wataru

It's my pleasure. Fiddly bits of paper + Mythos = happiness.

@ Surreality

I'm not sure if it's a testament to my thoroughness, or just a symptom of my borderline pathological obsessiveness, but I'm trying to dig up some more evidence for the cellophane hypothesis. I haven't found anything in my period mail order catalogs, so I'm trying to dig up some office supply resources.

Rick de G. said...

Cellophane was used for security documents since the start of the 1920's. Not only in Europe, but als in Canada for instance. Here's an example from WWII:

It's a kind of sticky cellophane which is sometimes used to cover books. I have no idea how it's called in English. Heck, I don't even know how you'd call it in Dutch.

Primatoide futile said...

Sorry not to be in of any help for the cellophane, but I can confirm these are indeed Austrian papers, and they are in both german and hungarian (in 1916, it was still the Austro-hungarian Empire).