This section is from the "Henley's Twentieth Century Formulas Recipes Processes" encyclopedia, by Norman W. Henley and others.
Celluloid dishes which show cracks are easily repaired by brushing the surface repeatedly with alcohol, 3 parts, and ether, 4 parts, until the mass turns soft and can be readily squeezed together. The pressure must be maintained for about one day. By putting only 1 part of ether in 3 parts of alcohol and adding a little shellac, a cement for celluloid is obtained, which, applied warm, produces quicker results. Another very useful gluing agent for celluloid receptacles is concentrated acetic acid. The celluloid fragments dabbed with it stick together almost instantaneously.
See also Adhesives for Methods of Mending Celluloid.
Printing on celluloid may be done in the usual way. Make ready the form so as to be perfectly level on the impression—that is, uniform to impressional touch on the face. The tympan should be hard. Bring up the form squarely, allowing for about a 3- or 4-sheet cardboard to be withdrawn from the tympan when about to proceed with printing on the celluloid; this is to allow for the thickness of the sheet of celluloid. Use live but dry and well-seasoned rollers. Special inks of different colors are made for this kind of press work; in black a good card-job quality will be found about right, if a few drops of copal varnish are mixed with the ink before beginning to print.
Brown: Dip into a solution of permanganate of potash made strongly alkaline by the addition of soda.
Blue: Dip into a solution of indigo neutralized by the addition of soda.
Red: First dip into a diluted bath of nitric acid; then into an ammoniacal solution of carmine.
Green: Dip into a solution of verdigris.
Aniline colors may also be employed but they are less permanent.
If the celluloid has become discolored throughout, its whiteness can hardly be restored, but if merely superficially discolored, wipe with a woolen rag wet with absolute alcohol and ether mixed in equal proportions. This dissolves and removes a minute superficial layer and lays bare a new surface. To restore the polish rub briskly first with a woolen cloth and finish with silk or fine chamois. A little jeweler's rouge or putzpomade greatly facilitates matters. Ink marks may be removed in the same manner. Printer's ink may be removed from celluloid by rubbing first with oil of turpentine and afterwards with alcohol and ether.