Salad servers

Chosen because of their interesting design and the thought of summer salads in the garden.

Salad servers
Case number - AIBDC : 003361
A pair of green plastic salad servers, circa 1940s, comprising an angular spoon and fork
View more images on the MoDiP site
DesignerUnknown - Wanted
ManufacturerUnknown - Wanted
CountryUnknown - Wanted
Date1940-1949 (circa)
Dimensionslength 240 mm
Materialsplastic, Erinoid - trade name, CF, casein formaldehyde
Methodunknown - Wanted
Colourgreen
href=" http://10most.org.uk/artefact/salad-servers"

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25/05/14

Salad servers AIBDC : 003361 This object is part of a trial to see if giving specific guidance on research methods makes the game a more successful means of obtaining information about the objects featured. There's very little we do know about these stylish salad servers. We would be pleased to hear anything at all about them. I would start by looking at books about collecting plastics. Does that mean a trip to your local library? Follow the investigation here: http://10most.org.uk/artefact/salad-servers.

26/05/14

In 1908 a new type of plastic made from casein, a protein found in milk, was invented by Victor Schutz, a Latvian chemist. It was made from milk curd, a by-product of the dairy industry. Soon after its invention, the company Syrolit Ltd obtained a licence to produce casein. In 1911, it moved from Enfield, Middlesex, to the former cloth mills at Lightpill. The new site was nearer to the supply of milk curd from Ireland. Despite refrigeration the company met with serious difficulties in keeping the wet curd in a workable condition. The problem was solved when E.A. Petersen, a German who had worked in the production of casein in Hamburg, introduced a new 'dry' process. This used casein granules instead of starting with milk or curd. The new product was registered in 1913 as 'Erinoid'. In May 1914 Petersen was appointed Works Manager and took control of production at Lightpill. By October the first Erinoid product appeared and became the main source of casein plastic outside Germany. German imports ceased with the outbreak of war in July 1914. There was a huge demand for Erinoid, especially from British button manufacturers. During 1914 production of Erinoid increased and the workforce at Lightpill grew from 25 to 125 employees. Erinoid offered manufacturers new and exciting applications. The material was supplied in sheets, rods, tubes and discs. It was non-flammable, odourless and did not conduct electricity. It could be sawn, drilled, glued and turned like wood. Dyed in a wide range of colours, it provided a cheap substitute for many expensive materials such as ivory, amber, horn, tortoiseshell, coral, ebony and bone. As well as buttons early applications included knitting needles, fountain pens and instrument panels. It provided an ideal substitute for ivory piano keys. Erinoid Ltd continued to develop new types of plastics. These included cellulose acetate, PVC and polystyrene. Although the company was taken over in 1957, plastics continued to be made at Lightpill into the early 1980s. Above taken from a talk given in Stroud in 2009 on the history of Erinoid.

27/05/14

That's a wonderful account, Rupert. I have put it into the evidence locker so we will have it for all time. Brilliant.

30/05/14

There is a museum near Stroud with a big collection of Erinoid. I wonder if anyone would like to contact them and see if they have any of the answers we are looking for?

08/06/14

Have you noticed the elegant profile that the handles have? It's not unlike a Mappin and Webb cutlery set my parents were given when they got married in 1938. Clearly someone 'designed' that. Who do you think it was?

19/06/14

I have a memory of seeing these gorgeous salad servers in a book about collecting plastics. A trawl through books of that nature might produce some information.

26/06/14

I have these servers, also CF and also dating from the late 40s or early 50s. They are marked 'Plasmoulder England'.

27/06/14

That is interesting, Ian. Have you come across Plasmoulder in any other context?

29/06/14

I have - but I can't remember where. I thought that these were elegant. Photo from etsy.com/uk

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Case notes

Susan Lambert's picture

Salad Servers: Case AIBDC : 003361

This object is part of a trial to see if giving specific guidance on research methods makes the game a more successful means of obtaining information about the objects featured.

There's very little we do know about these stylish salad servers. We would be pleased to hear anything at all about them. I would start by looking at books about collecting plastics. Does that mean a trip to your local library?

Wonderful account of the development of Erinoid

Special Agent Radcliffe has provided a wonderful account of the history of Erinoid including the invention of a new type of plastic made from casein,  a protein  found in milk, by Victor Schulz in 1908, the adaptaion of using casein granules rather than milk or curd by E.A.Petersen and the resulting registration of the UK product, Erinoid, in 1913, and the history of the firm into the 1980s. To read the full story please go to the Evidence locker.