Lepage 2016-12-06T05:35:19+00:00

Franis Charles Lepage


Bois Durci

In 1855, Franis Charles Lepage
patented in France and in England, (UK Patent No. 2232) a plastics material
composed of sawdust and albumen which he named Bois Durci (“hardened wood”).The sawdust could be mixed with “any vegetable, mineral or
metallic powders”, and the albumen with “any other glutinous or
gelatinous substance”. Lepage preferred albumen from eggs or
blood, and his method was to soak the powder in diluted albumen,
then to dry the impregnated material. This was then compressed
and finally shaped in a steel mould under pressure and steam
heat.About the inventor Lepage, little is known. He has been
described as “a literary man of Paris” or a “chansonnier”.

invention was bought by a Mr A. Lartry, who founded  LA
SOCIETE DU BOIS DURCI, located at 7 rue Du Grand Chantier in
Paris. In 1874 the street became part of  rue Des Archives.
Bois Durci was produced at Latry’s factory in Grenelle.

Bois Durci mouldings were exhibited at the international exhibitions in London in
1862 and Paris in 1867.

By the end of the 20th century, the firm had been taken over by
MIOM (La Manufacture d’Isolants et Objets Moul which was
founded in 1898. They continued to make Bois Durci until about
1920, by which time it had been superseded by newer plastics
materials, such as bakelite.