Friday, January 27, 2012

Celluloid Tight Tops and Glow Bubbles

 LOL - say THAT title three times fast!  These vintage buttons are made of celluloid, which was an early plastic.  "Tight Top" refers to the way this group is made.  They are a celluloid top that is "tightly" wrapped under and attached to a metal back.
 There are a few "Glow-Bubbles" in this lot.  They are made in the same way but the dome is semi-transparent and the inside of the metal base has a shiny foil or tin coating that gives it a little "glow". 
 Since my buttons are all collected from estate sale button tins and poke sacks, a lot of them are pretty scuffed with not so much glow surviving.
 Celluloid actually dates back to the late 1800 so it truly was a VERY early plastic.  It was not very durable and the ones we find in button boxes today are often kind of "rotted" looking and responsible for some of that funky smell you sometimes encounter in old button boxes.
Celluloid is also very flammable.  If you touched it with a hot iron it might just go POOF, up in smoke.  Luckily, I don't iron my buttons.  8+)

5 comments:

oldgreymare said...

thanks for the info. I have a zillion vintage buttons but Know very little about the histories..so thanks for the tutoring :D
x x
z

Andy's Attic said...

The title of your post was a mouthful!! Thanks for the lesson.
Annette

My Vintage Mending said...

Oh I am going to have to go and check my buttons. I know I recently found a lot bakelites with that nasty smell and they were starting to breakdown. I had no idea they were flammable. Dome ones I have never heard of. Smiles...Renee

Betsy said...

I get so excited looking a a beautiful collection of buttons. Yours are yummy! I've had some celluloid buttons that crumble in my hand. Thanks for sharing them.

Laurie said...

You have some gorgeous buttons there! I love the bubbles myself!