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.