Ok I have been shipping celluloid for a while now and I never really thought about it but i always sent it in UN certified boxes but how come places like Fender picks etc can send out bags of pics without special packaging? What is the difference between a sheet of celluloid that weighs 1/4 pound and a 1/4 pound of picks. Does anyone that buys celluloid pick guards or binding know what is the deal here?

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You cant buy celluloid picks or binding or pick guards. I don't know when it was last used. All picks and binding and sheet material and pick guards are a plastic.

Celluloid is made of nitroglycerin which is highly explosive. It is very hard to work with and dangerous!

The old Gibson guitars have it and you find that at times you open the case and the binding will have burnt off.

I got a piece of binding hot trying to heat it and stretching and it ignited and started to run like a dimite fuse.

I would not like to use it!!

All the pick manufacturers are still using the same stuff (the flammable celluloid same stuff). I have fender picks that I purchased a month ago and lit one of fire and poof! The pick guards are also made from the real deal (sometimes laminated with PVC) usually the white layers are pvc but the materials are still being widely used. Go get a fender celluloid pick at the guitar shop. The pick guards and many picks are UN2000 hazardous materials. But nothing works as good as celluloid picks (real ones).
I might be wrong but feel about 99% confident they are still using the stuff for pick guards and definitely the picks I know for sure. Celluloid is a plastic (thermoplastic actually). Bye the way all ping pong balls are pure celluloid also.
i thought it was made from nitrocellulose not nitroglycerin
Hi Ron-- I dont mean to be on the opposite side of anyone -- HOWEVER--
LMI sells celluloid binding and I own some of it.. I had to pay an extra 20dollar
fee to get to me because of its low flash point.
Im trying to get away from man made materials for binding because Im learning to bend wood, which has more eye appeal...
be safe --
Celluloid is nitrocellulose based with camphor in the mix (that's partly he pungent odor you get when you sand or grind celluloid) - nitrocellulose is a component of low grade explosives (ie: gun cotton) and therefore falls foul of the the hysterical wailings of your Homeland Security and also the Airlines which have a dislike of flying with explosive/flammable cargo (unless you are a military aircraft - in which case it is OK and desirable to fly around with lots of explosive stuff strapped on).

I have long suspected that Osama Bin Laden has been collecting Heavy Fender Celluloid Picks and is designing a 'weapon of mass distraction' which will be shipped into the States in the baggage of a touring Islamic Heavy Metal Band......OH NEVER MIND.....the airlines fly with interiors and seats that burn better than petrol and a squillion gallons of fuel etc but won't ship guitar picks and binding....I think you can get my drift here. Rusty.
Here is what I got from Wiki.......or here is the link.....

Celluloid is the name of a class of compounds created from nitrocellulose and camphor, plus dyes and other agents. Generally regarded to be the first thermoplastic, it was first created as Parkesine in 1856 and as Xylonite in 1869 before being registered as Celluloid in 1870. Celluloid is easily molded and shaped, and it was first widely used as an ivory replacement. Celluloid is highly flammable and also easily decomposes, and is no longer widely used. Its most common uses today are the table tennis ball and guitar picks.[1]

[edit] Nitrocellulose
Nitrocellulose-based plastics slightly predate celluloid: collodion, invented in 1848 and used as a wound dressing and emulsion for photographic plates, dried to a celluloid-like film.

[edit] Alexander Parkes
The first celluloid as a bulk material for forming objects was made in 1856 in Birmingham, England, by Alexander Parkes, who was never able to see his invention reach full fruition. Parkes patented his discovery after realising that a solid residue remained after evaporation of the solvent from photographic collodion, he described it as a "hard, horny elastic and waterproof substance".

Parkes patented it as a clothing waterproof for woven fabrics in the same year. Later in 1862, Parkes showcased Parkesine at the Great Exhibition in London where he was awarded a bronze medal for his efforts. Cellulose nitrate was dissolved in a small measure of solvent, this was then heated and rolled on a purpose built machine which extracted a proportion of the solvent. Finally, the use of pressure or dyes completed the manufacturing process. In 1866, Parkes tried again with his invention and he created a company to manufacture and market Parkesine but this failed in 1868 after trying to cut costs to enable further manufacture.

[edit] Daniel Spill
One year after Parkesine failed, Englishman Daniel Spill created the Xylonite Company, to design and market a similar product to Parkesine. This failed and in 1874 Spill went bankrupt. Spill then reorganized and set up the Daniel Spill Company to continue production. He later pursued the Hyatt brothers over their patenting of celluloid.

[edit] John Wesley and Isaiah Hyatt
In the 1860s, an American by the name of John Wesley Hyatt began experimenting with cellulose nitrate, with the intention of manufacturing billiard balls, which until that time were made from ivory. He used cloth, ivory dust, and shellac and in 1869 patented a method of covering billiard balls with the important addition of collodion, and formed the Albany Billiard Ball Company in Albany, New York, to manufacture the product. In 1870, John, and his brother Isaiah, patented a process of making a "horn-like material" with the inclusion of cellulose nitrate and camphor. Alexander Parkes and Spill listed camphor during their earlier experiments, but it was the Hyatt brothers who recognized the value of camphor and its use as a plasticizer for cellulose nitrate. Isaiah coined the commercially viable material “celluloid” in 1872 as a specifically Hyatt product.

English inventor Daniel Spill took exception to the Hyatt's claim and pursued the brothers in a number of court cases between 1877 and 1884. The outcome was that Spill held no claim to the Hyatts' patents and that the true inventor of celluloid was in fact Alexander Parkes, due to his mentioning of camphor in his earlier experiments and patents. The judge ruled that all manufacturing of celluloid could continue, including the Hyatts' Celluloid Manufacturing Company. Celluloid was later used as the base for photographic film.

The name Celluloid actually began as a trademark of the Celluloid Manufacturing Company first of Albany, NY, and later of Newark, New Jersey, which manufactured the celluloids patented by John Wesley Hyatt. Hyatt used heat and pressure to simplify the manufacture of these compounds. The name was registered in 1870, but after a long court battle between Spill and the Hyatt brothers a judge later ruled that the true inventor of celluloid (by process, not name) was Alexander Parkes.

Celluloid and sterling silver pen.
[edit] Photography
This article does not cite any references or sources. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unverifiable material may be challenged and removed. (May 2007)

English photographer John Carbutt founded the Keystone Dry Plate Works in 1879 with the intention of producing gelatin dry plates. The Celluloid Manufacturing Company was contracted for this work by means of thinly slicing layers out of celluloid blocks and then removing the slice marks with heated pressure plates. After this, the celluloid strips were coated with a photosensitive gelatin emulsion. It is not certain exactly how long it took for Carbutt to standardize his process, but it occurred no later than 1888. A 15 inch-wide sheet of Carbutt's film was used by William Dickson for the early Edison motion picture experiments on a cylinder drum Kinetograph. However, the celluloid film base produced by this means was still considered too stiff for the needs of motion picture photography.

By 1889, more flexible celluloids for photographic film were developed, and both Hannibal Goodwin and the Eastman Kodak Company obtained patents for a film product (Ansco, which purchased Goodwin's patent when he died, was eventually successful in an infringement suit against Kodak). This ability to produce photographic images on a flexible material (as opposed to a glass or metal plate) was a crucial step toward the advent of motion pictures.

[edit] Formulation
A typical formulation of celluloid might contain 70 to 80 parts nitrocellulose, nitrated to 11% nitrogen, 30 parts camphor, 0 to 14 parts dye, 1 to 5 parts ethyl alcohol, plus stabilizers and other agents to increase stability and reduce flammability.

Products still made from celluloid include the table tennis ball, and some musical instrument accessories and parts: guitar picks and pickguards.

"Celluloid heaven" is critic slang for wonderful cinematography in a motion picture
Down towards the bottom it does say (not sure if wiki is accurate) but it says typical celluloid is (nitrocellulose camphor, dye, and ethyl alcohol, plus stabilizers)
I get your drift.....things are a little bit crazy....i guess it would suck to have a big pile of celluloid under you in ther cargo area of a plane when something went wrong though.......yikes...
I stand to be corrected some what.

I went to my shop and dug out a handful of old pick guards 50s &60s one acted like a fuse none of the others did
I dug out several pieces of binding . One went like a fuse .

Out of 7 picks # did and 2 no. I tried some new pieces of pick guard material and could not get it to even burn just melt. I remember using a test on antiques that you heat a pin red hot and stick it in the plastic and the smell will tell you what it is. Tortoise shell smells like burnt fingernails.

The waist of some old guitars would shrink and we would hear it with a hair dryer than press it back to stretch it. Once i got a white Falcon Gretsch that got me into trouble!!

I learn more every day.. I guess you can teach a old dog new tricks!!

I an 75 years old

The humble Ron


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