"a shrivelled potato and a celluloid doll fall out.)"


'Celluloid' is a class of synthetic compounds created from nitrocellulose and camphor, and considered to be the first thermoplastic. It was first created as Parkesine (1856) and as Xylonite (1869) before being registered as Celluloid (1870). Celluloid is easily molded and shaped. Initially used as an ivory replacement, it became widely used in the 19c. and the first half of the 20c. in knife handles, fountain pen bodies, collars and cuffs, toys, etc. and later in photographic film as well. However, it was highly flammable easily and easily decomposed, and in time was replaced by cellulose acetate plastics then polyester. It is no longer used today, except for table tennis ball and guitar picks. The image is a hand-painted celluloid postcard from the 1900s.