Formol has the property of forming combinations with most albuminoid substances. These are not identical with reference to plasticity, and the use which may be derived from them for the manufacture of plastic substances. This difference explains why albumen should not be confounded with gelatin or casein. With this in view, the Société Anonyme l'Oyonnaxienne has originated the following processes:


The albumen may be that of the egg or that of the blood, which are readily found in trade. The formolizing may be effected in the moist state or in the dry state. The dry or moist albumen is brought into contact with the solution of commercial formol diluted to 5 or 10 per cent for an hour. Care must be taken to pulverize the albumen, if it is dry. The formol penetrates rapidly into the albuminoid matter, and is filtered or decanted and washed with water until all the formol in excess has completely disappeared; this it is easy to ascertain by means of aniline water, which produces a turbid white as long as a trace of formic aldehyde remains.

The formol albumen is afterwards dried at low temperature by submitting it to the action of a current of dry air at a temperature not exceeding 107° F. Thus obtained, the product appears as a transparent corneous substance. On pulverizing, it becomes opaque and loses its transparency. It is completely insoluble in water, but swells in this liquid.


The formol albumen is reduced to a perfectly homogeneous powder, and mixed intimately with the plastic matter before rolling. This cannot be considered an adequate means for effecting the mixture. It is necessary to introduce the formol albumen, in the course of the moistening, either by making an emulsion with camphor alcohol, or by mixing it thoroughly with nitro-cellulose, or by making simultaneously a thorough mixture of the three substances. When the mixture is accomplished, the paste is rolled according to the usual operation. The quantity of formol albumen to add is variable, being diminished according to the quantity of camphor.

Instead of adding the desiccated for-

mol albumen, it may previously be swollen in water in order to render it more malleable.

Instead of simple water, alkalinized or acidified water may be taken for this purpose, or even alcoholized water. The albumen, then, should be pressed between paper or cloth, in order to remove, the excess of moisture.