Print and thermoplastic case comparison

In the 1840s, inexpensive copies of famous paintings were issued as lithographs, mezzotints, and steel engravings. As part of the era's urge to democratize the fine arts, these motifs were used on thermoplastic cases in the 1850s. These cases represent the first commercially produced plastic-they are formed from a combination of resin, shellac, and sawdust. This is true thermoplastic; the term "gutta percha" is a misnomer.


Print and thermoplastic case comparison:
The Capture of Major André motif
Case made by Peck and Halvorson, ca. 1857

Major André


Print and thermoplastic case comparison:
General Marion in his Swamp Encampment motif
Case made by Littlefield, Parsons and Company, ca. 1857
(scroll up to top of page for explanation)

General Marion


rd_right.gif - 117 Bytes