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Manuscript Archive with formulae/processes for Leather Dressing, Dyeing, Tanning from the 1940s and 1950s


Possibly Chicago: Unknown 1940-1950. First Edition. An archive of Formulae/processes for various leather preparations from a Tanner or Tannery, possibly Chicago, 1940s - 1950s. More than one hundred separate pages, on 6" x 9.5" loose leaf sheets, of hand written, carbon copy, and typed notes. Experiments and formulae from an unnamed tanner, or tanning firm, possibly in Chicago, dated between 1942 and 1953 (and one outlier in 1935). A notation on one page gives an address at 549 West Washington Boulevard, Chicago, but no legible company name (google searching notes several leather or industrial concerns at this address over the last 100 years). A few other companies are mentioned either by initials or name. Near Fine. Loose Sheets. [22539]


The archive includes formulae for dressing pelts, hides, leather and suede, and for dyeing leather and suede. They are very detailed and technical, giving the impression that they are for large-scale, industrial use, rather than for a small tanning shop. At a bare minimum, they are intended for a well versed practitioner who could read the formulae and short notes for processing and get the result intended. Some sheets are noted as experimental runs, a few x-d out.

There are more than 50 dyed suede and leather samples in off-white, orange, blues, greens, reds, browns and blacks, most of which remain quite bright and supple. As most of the pages have a name and number perhaps connecting to commercially produced and marketed material may be possible. An interesting research project both for identifying the owner as well as the industries targeted.


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