Baleen – definition

Baleen, Plastic of the 18th Century

Baleen comes from a suborder of whales, Mysticeti, which includes, among others, humpback whales, gray whales, right whales and blue whales. What sets these whales apart is baleen. These whales do not have teeth, but have upper jaws filled with two rows of baleen plates fringed with fine baleen hair. These plates are so closely aligned that they act like a comb or a sieve; whales pull water [...] Click here to continue reading.



Lenticular means, “1. shaped like a biconvex lens; 2. of or relating to a lens; 3. convex on both sides; lentil-shaped.”

In the world of collectibles, “lenticular” usually refers to a type of printing that creates a three-dimensional image through the use of a lenticular lens. The resulting images reveal changes in depth or motion as the viewing angle changes. (“Lenticular” doesn’t refer, despite the frequent use, necessarily to the image, but to [...] Click here to continue reading.



Scandal & the Story of Bakelite Bakelite hit the market in 1907, heralding the arrival of the modern plastics industry. Bakelite was the first completely man made plastic, as until then, plastics such as celluloid, casein, and Gutta-Percha all had as a base a natural material. It was developed by Belgian-born chemist Dr. Leo Hendrick Baekeland who started his firm General Bakelite Company to produce the phenolic resin type plastic. Bakelite was inexpensive [...] Click here to continue reading.

Typewriters in America

The Typewriter in America

The first commercially successful typwriter was patented in the United States on June 23,1868 by Christopher Latham Sholes, Carlos Glidden and Samuel W. Sole. The invention was eventually called the Sholes and Gliddon Type Writer. Christopher Latham Sholes is most often credited with its invention and is considered the “Father of the Typewriter.” This was the start of what would later become the Remington Typewriter and the beginning of the [...] Click here to continue reading.

Durant, Frederick C. III – Aerospace Engineer & Book Collector

Frederick C. Durant III

Frederick C. Durant III was a key advisor to the U.S. military, intelligence, and civilian space-flight programs of the 1950s and 1960s. He served as president of the American Rocket Society in 1953 and president of the International Astronautical Federation (IAF) from 1953 to 1956. During the 1950s he worked for several different aerospace organizations, including: Bell Aircraft Corp., Everett Research Lab, the Naval Air Rocket Test Station, and the [...] Click here to continue reading.

Patent Models

U.S. Invention Patent Models

Patent models are unique to a brief period of American history, when U.S. patent law required that all inventors submit a scale model of their invention in order to be granted a patent. With the recision of those laws in the late 1800s, models were no longer required, and the collections of the Patent Office’s 19th century models were placed in storage until budget constraints eventually forced the government to [...] Click here to continue reading.

Stock Tickers

Stock Tickers

Electric stock tickers were invented in the 1860′s as an extension of existing telegraph services. The early models were much improved by Thomas Edison but continued to be manufactured by several different companies. Typically the tickers were provided to subscribers who paid approximately $6.00 per week to receive updated quotes on the stock and gold markets. The tickers were widely used, with over one thousand at the New York Stock Exchange alone [...] Click here to continue reading.

Roycroft – Arts & Crafts Community 1896 to 1938 – New York

Roycroft – New York Arts & Crafts Community

After visiting William Morris’s Kelmscott community of artisans, charismatic businessman and writer Elbert Hubbard (1856 to 1915) embarked on his own version in East Aurora, New York. His Roycroft community, America’s only Arts & Crafts campus, began in 1895 as a high quality leather bookbindery and publishing house. The name came from two 17th century London printers. The community’s large and prominently displayed mark, the orb [...] Click here to continue reading.

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