Museum Closure

The New-York Historical Society will be closed on Tuesday, April 21. For details, please visit our calendar.

Beer foam scraper

Not promoted
68 576
Title:
Beer foam scraper
Date: 
ca. 1900-1920
Medium: 
Celluloid
Classification: 
Dimensions: 
Overall: 10 5/8 x 1 9/16 x 3/8 in. (27 x 4 x 1 cm)
Date End: 
1 920
Description: 
Elephant head in profile with curled trunk and one tusk.
Credit Line: 
Gift of Dadie and Norman Perlov and Daughters
Object Number: 
2012.16.35
Gallery Label: 
Celluloid, the first entirely synthetic plastic, was invented by John Wesley Hyatt (1837-1920) of Albany in 1869. It is created from nitrocellulose and camphor along with dyes and other agents. Hyatt first developed the material as a less expensive alternative to ivory in the production of billiard balls. Hyatt's invention was patented in 1869 and subsequently used for a wide range of objects, both in imitation of expensive animal products like ivory, horn, and tortoiseshell, and also as an inexpensive medium for objects such as dresser sets, jewelry, picture frames, and advertising giveaways. Celluloid, which is both flammable and fragile, was gradually supplanted by the stronger Bakelite in the 1920s. Celluloid continues to be used today for making Ping Pong balls and guitar picks.
Date Begin: 
1900
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Creative: Tronvig Group