The manufacturing formulary for successive New York varnish manufacturers: William Tilden, William Tilden Blodgett, with additional formulas from David B. Crockett, Dr. S. Muspratt for the years 1855 – 1866. 256 pages of blue paper, of which 102 pages are used. The formulary is bound in brown kid with red and blue morocco trim, 19.5 cm. Hinges cracked but held by morocco bands at the top and bottom.
This formulary has 111 ‘receipts’ (recipes) for different varnishes, shellacs and oils, directions for their usage, technical instructions on the arrangement of the manufacturing equipment and tools to be used, a list of clients and the products they bought, a 13-page tutorial on the chemistry of making varnish by Dr. Muspratt and the David B. Crockett Manifesto with recipes and sundry instructions for application and use. Of interest is the recorded use of substitute ingredients during the Civil War and the use of the word “elastic” to describe backing. For instance, the Confederate embargo on turpentine resulted in the following successful experiment on December 19, 1861: “John Fitch manufactured the first gallon of varnish made from Naptha (distilled from rock oil) in place of turpentine.” Gum resins, amber, Zanzibar gums and Copal were essential ingredients.
Sold with the business card of William Tilden Blodgett, office at 252 Pearl Street, New York City, and the three manufactories he owned and operated at 115 Norfolk Street, 58 – 64 Clinton Street, 31st Street and First Avenue. Also included is a small horizontal albumen photograph taken by H. H. Boyles at Ellisson’s, successor to R. A. Lord at 164 Chatham Street, New York, of the varnish and shellac factory workers posing with their tools. The ink annotation on the verso says: (“A Scene in Germany”) “Ein Scene In Deutschland.”
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