Bois Durci

June 13, 2017

 As we had hoped, sometimes people visiting our website often contact us with news about Gustave Trouvé.


Monsieur Gaston Vermosen of Malines, Belgium, is a world expert on “Bois Durci” (“pulverised wood”), a pioneer plastic moulding material. Patented in Paris in 1855 by Lepage, then commercialised by Alfred Latry, it was made from finely ground wood 'flour' mixed with a binder, either egg or blood from the slaughterhouses.


The wood is probably either ebony or rose wood, giving a black or brown result. Bois durci was used for the moulding of anything from barometer frames paper knife handles.


In his collection of objects, M. Vermosen has a Trouvé telephone earpiece which he bought from a German collector friend who had in turn found it a long time ago in a second-hand shop in France.


The earpiece was sold by the Societé. Industrielle des Téléphones established in 1881 and that very year, in a  catalogue, one reads “N° 342 Trouvé (G) Paris, 14, rue Vivienne.- Exceptional, precisely regulated telephones, in mahogany, bois durci, with powerful magnets, weighing 40 to 50 kg. Varying microphones, micro-telephone posts.” 



Remember that it was only five years before, in 1876, that Alexander Graham Bell patented the telephone we all use today.  



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