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Re: [BKARTS] aluminum alkoxide



"Unfortunately, benzene is a carcinogen."

And a particularly nasty one!
Virginia
----- Original Message ----- From: "Bob Douglas" <redev@xxxxxxxxx>
To: <BOOK_ARTS-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Saturday, October 13, 2007 7:27 PM
Subject: Re: aluminum alkoxide



Unfortunately, benzene is a carcinogen.

Bob


---------------------- Original Message: --------------------- From: "Jack C. Thompson" <tcl@xxxxxxxxxxxx> To: BOOK_ARTS-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Subject: Re: [BKARTS] aluminum alkoxide Date: Sat, 13 Oct 2007 09:04:09 +0000

Aaron Salik asked:

>I was wondering if anyone has heard of this chemical, or is familiar >with
>the use of this product.


I am not familiar with the product, aluminum alkoxide, nor have I read
_CONSERVATION OF LEATHER AND RELATED MATERIALS_, [by] Marion Kite and Roy
Thomson, which was mentioned by Bill Minter.

But I do know a little bit about the general topic of leather for
bookbinding.

My copy of the _Report of the Committee on Leather for Bookbinding_
was published in 1905, for the Society of Arts by George Bell & Sons.

There was great concern about the quality of leather available for
bookbinding, and they found a solution.  This was reduced to practice
in the 1930's by R. Faraday Innes, who developed the P.I.R.A. test
for leather, using hydrogen peroxide to determine if a leather was
sound and long-lasting.

That test, in the end, was neither sufficient nor accurate.

In the mid-1970's the British Library sent a research proposal around
the the major national libraries in the world, asking for support for
a project which might resolve the issue of what was required to produce
a long-lasting leather for bookbinding.

The organization which would conduct this research was the British Leather
Manufacturers' Research Association (BLMRA).


The leather chemist who would lead this project was Betty M. Haines, and this
would be her swan song; her last major work before she retired.


In the event, only one national library agreed to support the research;
the British Library.

The project was cut down and left to proceed as best it could under severe
financial constraints.


In 1984 the results were published as, _The Conservation of Bookbinding
Leather_

The suggestion (calling it a recommendation goes beyond the caveat published
on the copyright page by the British Library Board:


"Neither the British Leather Manufacturers' Research Association
nor the British Library can take responsibility for claims resulting
from the application of processes detailed in this report.")

was that the application of aluminum triformate might, just possibly, be
a solution to a major problem in bookbinding and book conservation.

Sadly, it has not worked out, and I have felt sorry for Betty Haines
ever since that monograph was published.

Skins, vegetable tanned, with the addition of aluminum triformate, has
not caught on, any more than chrome tanned skins have done.

They may last a long time, but they don't work well and they don't tool
well.

There is another aspect to Aaron's query which should be addressed.

>It was brought to my attention by a book conservator in Budapest (snip)

Conservation training in central and eastern Europe is not the same in
many ways as compared with training in the west (including North America).


One instance which comes to mind is chloramine-T, which was much used
in the west, while chloramine-B was used in the east.

Chloramine-T refers to the toluene form of this chlorine compound; while
B refers to the benzene form.

Both work to bleach, for instance, paper.  But benzene is more toxic than
toluene, although neither is completely safe.

But don't take my word for anything. Read a book. Make up your own mind.

Cheers,

Jack

Thompson Conservation Lab.
7549 N. Fenwick
Portland, Oregon 97217
USA

971/404-4543

http://www.teleport.com/~tcl

"The lyfe so short; the craft so long to lerne."
Chaucer _Parlement of Foules_ 1386

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*********************************************** Visit "The Book of Origins: A survey of American Fine Binding" Online exhibit and catalog order form at <http://library.syr.edu/digital/exhibits/b/bookoforigins/>

For all your subscription questions, go to the
Book_Arts-L FAQ and Archive.
See <http://www.philobiblon.com> for full information
***********************************************

***********************************************
Visit "The Book of Origins: A survey of American Fine Binding"
Online exhibit and catalog order form at
<http://library.syr.edu/digital/exhibits/b/bookoforigins/>
For all your subscription questions, go to the
Book_Arts-L FAQ and Archive.
See <http://www.philobiblon.com> for full information
***********************************************



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