CATALIN – A THERMOSETTING PLASTIC USED FOR ANTIQUE JUKEBOXES
BY JULIA GREDEL
The presentation is based on the observations, made during the conservation treatment of multiple Jukeboxes beginning in 2004. The Jukeboxes were manufactured between the 1930s to the 1950 s and are imported from the USA. A more in-depth examination was conducted during the conservation treatment of the Jukebox “Wurlitzer Model 800”. The materials were identified by Elena Hügel in corporation with the scientific department of the Goering- Institute as part of her final term paper. The Goering Institut is a “State-acknowledged” Professional Academy for Restoration of Furniture and Wooden Objects”
One identified material is the thermosetting polymer “Catalin”. “Catalin” is a phenol formaldehyde resin which was modified from “Bakelite” and developed by the American Catalin Cooperation.
In 1938 the new translucent synthetic Polymer, catalin was first used in the production process of jukeboxes.”The Wurlitzer 800”, designed by Paul Fuller was launched in 1940. The wooden case has parts of colored catalin, lit from behind with decorative nickeled castings.
The focus for the presentation is the history of this material, the aging properties, the methods of identification and the approach for the conservation treatment.
In general, the coin operated phonographs of the 1920s through 1930 s developed from mechanical musical instruments and were made of wood. The use of the mod