Illustration of Galalith

1893 Galalith

The book of science

Tom Sharp

Auguste Trillat materials science Illustration of Galalith


Auguste Trillat discovered precipitating casein with formaldehyde produced an odorless, insoluble, biodegradable, antiallergenic, and nonflammable plastic.

Milk stone

With Galalith, Coco Chanel created costume jewellery for her little black dress. Combs, buttons, and knitting needles Pens, piano keys, and umbrella handles. Galalith could be produced in any color and patterned to look like amber or marble. It was cheap and safe to make, but could not be heat-molded after it set.


The ALL-BRITISH Material for All kinds of ELECTRICAL FITTINGS and ACCESSORIES. DO YOU Manufacture or handle in any way FITTINGS and ACCESSORIES for Wireless Installations, Telephones, Aeroplanes, Motor Cars, or Magneto Terminals, Collector Rings, Levers, Switch Handles, Button and Pear Pushes, Plugs, Pegs, &c.? If so, you will find ERINOID the ideal material for all these articles, both on grounds of economy and artistic appearance, and also because it is non- inflammable and non-conductive. Made in rods, sheets or tubes, it is unrivalled as a substitute for Amber, Buffalo Horn, Coral, Ivory, Tortoiseshell, Turquoise, Ebonite, &c., DON’T YOU believe disgruntled German competitors if they tell you they can even equal Erinoid for quality, selection or delivery, as you will be quickly convinced to the contrary if you will drop a line to ERINOID, LTD., (Dept. E) Lightpill Mills, STROUD, GLOS.

“Galalith” is a coinage from the Greek words for milk, gala, and stone, lithos. In the U.K. this plastic was named Erinoid, the name of the company in England that manufactured it. Erinold was sold as a non-inflammable substitute for celluloid, bone, amber, ebonite, horn, coral, ivory, jet, vulcanite, tortoiseshell, and turquoise, and an insulating material.

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