Wayback Machine 1936: Linoleum

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I love linoleum; it is completely natural (made from linseed oil and flax), durable and nice looking. About the only knock against it is the energy used to bake it. Modern Mechanix describes its manufacture in 1936; little has changed since.

"In 1863, Fredrick Walton, a youthful inventor of Yorkshire, England, made a great discovery in an open paint pot, over the contents of which the usual scum had formed. Turning his inventive genius to the matter of a use for this tough scum, he developed the idea for a new material which brought fine floors within reach of the average family for the first time."
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By mixing a small quantity of gum with the oxidized linseed oil, which he had discovered in the paint pot, Walton found that he had a very satisfactory binder for ground cork and color pigments when pressed onto a backing of burlap. So began the great industry that today extends into every country. He called his invention "linoleum"—from linum, the Latin for flax, and oleum, oil.

Linoleum "cement" is made from linseed oil and certain resins, which properly combined and treated, form a tough, rubber like material of great strength and endurance.....

The materials are all carefully weighed and then poured upon a moving belt which carries them to the mixer below, then rolled upon burlap or cut to the design patterns and pressed upon the burlap base by hand.

From the rollers, the linoleum passes directly into huge ovens, fifty feet high, for the "long bake." These are fitted with racks, from which the linoleum is hung in enormous folds. Each oven will accommodate more than a mile of linoleum. At constantly maintained temperatures, the linoleum is cured for a period varying from three to six weeks. Not until laboratory tests have proved it thoroughly cured is the oven allowed to cool."::Modern Mechanix See also ::Marmoleum and ::Armstrong Brings Back Linoleum, Renewing a 140 Year old Tradition

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