Author Topic: Something interesting From the Past  (Read 143 times)

chetbrz

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Something interesting From the Past
« on: May 14, 2020, 07:33:07 PM »
I started to clean up and repair my rear passenger seat back.



I knew he seats were old but it seems that someone upholstered over what I believe to be the original leatherette.
Check out the remains of this 91 year old seat back.
The leatherette is literally petrified.  Hard as a rock.



I just found this very interesting.  I know, a little bit crazy. 
These days you need to take joy.., where you can find it.
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frankp

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Re: Something interesting From the Past
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2020, 01:20:34 AM »
Didn't you speculate your car was a taxi?  That might account for the leatherette.  Certainly wear better than mohair.
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chetbrz

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Re: Something interesting From the Past
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2020, 07:11:44 AM »
Didn't you speculate your car was a taxi?  That might account for the leatherette.  Certainly wear better than mohair.

No, no Frank I donít know anything about the carís early period.  I was just speculating about creating a taxi as a fun project and a curiosity at a car show.  Although I have concluded that my car was restored at least two other times.  I now believe that originally my car was all black with leatherette interior.  I replaced all the original glass with safety glass and the old glass had blue overspray under the red overspray.  I doubt that originally the car was painted with the windows in place. The only other color under the blue and red was black.

Who knows.
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Russ T. Fender

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Re: Something interesting From the Past
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2020, 02:05:04 PM »
That is very interesting.  The interior of my 30-U rumble seat coupe was upholstered over the original mohair at some point by the original owner.  The original material was in good condition structurally but it looked like a can of paint opened and spilled on the passenger side so they covered the seat and back with leatherette type material.  The mohair had a nice, but intricate, striped pattern which would be impossible to reproduce without spending a fortune so I have been wondering what to replace it with.  I have heard that leather was available as an option but have never seen documentation to support this.  The rumble seat cushion and back are original to the car and are in good condition so I plan to reuse them. I believe they are leather, not leatherette, but have the same pebble pattern on your seat. The fact that you found leatherette upholstery in your sedan seems to support the notion that it was available on closed cars but it may have been done as part of an earlier restoration. I was wondering if anyone has information about what is correct.  I would love to go with leatherette for my interior if it would be correct.

frankp

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Re: Something interesting From the Past
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2020, 04:19:11 PM »
Checking the Master Parts List yielded no useful info to me.

A 1929U sales booklet for Coupe "Leather upholstery...(Mohair upholstery is available at small extra cost.)"  An artists' drawing shows a tufted leather seat for the Coupe
De Luxe Coupe "Its smooth, untufted upholstery of fine leather...."

Doesn't say anything specific about other models.  Four-Door Sedan "The softness and richness of the upholstery in the Plymouth Sedan is a delightful surprise..."
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Russ T. Fender

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Re: Something interesting From the Past
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2020, 06:13:10 PM »
That is very helpful. I doubt they would not have continued that  for he 30-U especially since mine is a very early one that is more like the '29 U.   I wish I had A sales brochure for the "New Finer"  Plymouth. 

frankp

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Re: Something interesting From the Past
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2020, 06:44:59 PM »
I bought mine on ebay several years ago from an auto literature seller.  They are out there; good luck in finding one, RTF.
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chetbrz

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Re: Something interesting From the Past
« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2020, 06:36:49 PM »

I can't swear that my old seat was leatherette.., maybe it could be leather.  Since leatherette simulated leather is there any way to determine which is which.  What would have happen to leather after 91 years.  Maybe its leather I just thought that since it was a low priced car I figured leather was more expensive than the imitation (leatherette) ?
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frankp

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Re: Something interesting From the Past
« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2020, 07:22:06 PM »
Since leatherette is synthetic, it could have been more expensive than cow hide, back in the day.  I understand leatherette covered the rumble seats, but not positive.
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chetbrz

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Re: Something interesting From the Past
« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2020, 11:53:06 PM »
Did some quick research about leatherette and found out some interesting info.  (If you believe the internet)

One of the earliest forms of leatherette was Presstoff. Invented in 19th century Germany.  Presstoff was artificial leather used during the first half of the 20th century. Made of specially layered and treated paper pulp, Presstoff was durable and easily adapted to be used in place of leather, which under wartime conditions was rationed. First invented in the 19th century, it gained its widest use in Germany during the Second World War.

Searching further I found the next improvement on Presstoff was DuPont's Corfam, introduced in 1963 at the Chicago Shoe Show. Corfam was the centerpiece of the DuPont pavilion at the 1964 New York World's Fair in New York City. After spending millions of dollars marketing the product to shoe manufacturers, DuPont withdrew Corfam from the market in 1971 and sold the rights to a company in Poland.

I couldnít find a first time use of leatherette in automobiles but I would suspect it started working its way into the auto market after WW2.
This could make sense as RTF mentioned maybe this wasnít the first covering of my seats but the first restoration of the car which may have been in the 40ís or 50ís.  The seat materials now are probably from the 70ís or 80ís.  Who knows.., but if original it was most likely leather.  Thanks to this discussion I am not sure of anything.  I donít think if it was imitation leather it could not have survived all those years.

Anyway like Frank said, leather was probably less expensive or possibly the same price as leatherette.  So why use it, no distinct advantage.
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frankp

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Re: Something interesting From the Past
« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2020, 02:02:46 AM »
Interesting Chet.  More info for artificial leather see hagley dot org  re fabrikoid.  It is a du Pont product patented in 1915 and used in book bindings, upholstery and car tops. It appears it wasn't petroleum based like I thought, but nitrocellulose.  As you, I enjoy the search, but gave up looking for equivalency of leatherette and fabrikoid.
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chetbrz

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Re: Something interesting From the Past
« Reply #11 on: May 25, 2020, 02:15:48 PM »
Interesting Frank.

For anyone interested below is a link to Hagley Museum info on Fabrikoid..

https://www.hagley.org/ja/about-us/news/museum-fabrikoid-game-changer
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