A kind of plastic that once swept the streets and alleys
watching the movie, smoke suddenly billowed out from the screening room. I wore beautiful hair ornaments to attend the dance, but I lost my hair because the fire was too tight. About a hundred years ago, this risk was truly hidden in people's lives, and the culprit behind it was actually an important material in the early history of plastic development: celluloid.
celluloid was born in the 19th century. It is the first thermoplastic in the world. At that time, it could be said to be a revolutionary material, light and cheap, and could be easily made into various shapes and colors at the same time. Whether it's plastic dolls, buttons or beautiful hair combs with daidai patterns, they can be made of celluloid. And it can also be made into a transparent film, which just meets the needs of film film. Therefore, all kinds of celluloid products were very popular from the end of the 19th century to the beginning of the 20th century.
(celluloid doll. The first time I knew that the celluloid doll may have been "overcharged by three or five buckets" through the Chinese text, in which there is a mention of "celluloid"
but this material also has a troublesome problem: it catches fire too easily. The two main raw materials for making celluloid are nitrocellulose and camphor, and you probably already know what nitrification means. Celluloid does not need a high temperature to ignite. It burns very rapidly and produces some toxic nitrogen oxides.
(when you see a bunch of nitro groups, you know it's not easy. )
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many cases of burns caused by hair ornaments were reported in the newspapers at that time, and the film fire in cinemas was filmed in later films, such as "Paradise Cinema" in which the film suddenly caught fire during the screening.
(a warning illustration published in 1912: watch out for your comb, it's going to catch fire! )
in addition to cinemas, a fire broke out in the celluloid film storage warehouse at 20th Century Fox in 1937. According to film historians, many valuable old film materials were lost in the fire.
(a fast-burning piece of celluloid film from the 1948 film\ "Facts About Film\")
later, people have more and more safer materials to choose from, and celluloid is naturally used less and less. Some of the long-retained uses of celluloid include table tennis, guitar pick and the decoration of some pens. If you burned table tennis when you were a child, you should be impressed by its flammability (but it's better not to do so. ).
(burning celluloid table tennis)
of course, there is also a safer version of table tennis. At least the ping-pong balls used in the competition are no longer made of celluloid.
although it is a very imperfect material today, celluloid is indeed a very important page in the history of plastic development, which not only brings convenience to people's lives, but also promotes the development of movies.
now most people no longer have to worry about the flammability of celluloid. But there are still a small number of people who need to pay special attention to this: museum staff and enthusiasts who collect old film. In order to avoid fire and to avoid damaging those precious and flammable historical materials, people must take good care of them, and there are even special operation guides in this regard.
PS: I don't know if it is because of aging or because it is weird. I feel that a lot of pictures of celluloid dolls can be used to make horror movies.