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Modern Celluloid?


Guest Mochet

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I believe clear celluloid was used in the Brass Era for rear and side-curtain windows. Vinyl seems the most logical modern replacement, but this has a different texture than celluloid. The former is rigid and flat (though flexible) while vinyl is soft and wrinkly. Would a thin acrylic, Perspex, plexiglass material not look more like the original?

Phil

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Guest Bob Call

Phil

The clear material used for windows was the mineral mica. That used for cars and wood/coal burning stoves was commonally called stove mica. Also known as eisen glass. Search the internet for eisen glass. There are several sources for sheets of eisen glass or eisen glass substitutes.

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My Metz used, I think, celluloid on it's windscreen and rear window in 1913. I was able to check an original car. It had only a little bit left, but I would say it was celluloid. I don't think mica would make a good windshield, as it's a bit opaque, no? I'd though about isinglass, but found out that is fish bladders. I doubt car makers used that product.

Phil

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You might consider clear window film. Known as safety/security film, it is available (usually from local dealers) in thicknesses of 1-, 2-, 4-, 7-, 11-, and 15-mil (thousandths). Peeling off the clear protective liner exposes a pressure-sensitive adhesive. For this application you would want two layers, typically 4- or 7-mil, adhered together. Spray water and a bit of clear shampoo on the adhesive before mating the pieces. Squeegee firmly to remove the bulk of the water — best to talk to the dealer for install tips before you try.

The result will be clear, firm, flat, flexible and as weather-resistant as you would ever need for a brass automobile.

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Clear vinyl is available at various suppliers, as it's used quite a bit in marine applications (boat tops and such).

Double Polished Clear Window Vinyl

It's available in different thickness dimensions, and is not soft and wrinkly, is rigid but can be rolled.

I believe LeBaron Bonney used to sell it, I have a part of a roll left that I think came from them.

If you're installing (sewing) clear windows in top material, I can show you a "trick" that makes a nice outside appearance, email me directly.

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Guest Bob Call

Mica and eisen glass was not used for windshields just side and rear windows. I wouldn't think celluloid would be good for a windshield either.

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