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Technical Why did they call it Eisen-glass?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by lothiandon1940, Apr 26, 2019.

  1. When I was a youngster and would see an older car perhaps from the '30's or '40's, the glass would be fogging and the layers de-laminating. Adults would always say that it was because it was Eisen-glass. To this day, I still don't know why it was called this. Anybody know why and what the history of this product might have been?
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  2. oldolds
    Joined: Oct 18, 2010
    Posts: 2,964


    Just something from an internet search
    Mica is a mineral made from watery silicates of aluminum or potassium that crystallize into forms that can be cut into very thin, transparent sheets. The Romans were the first to use mica strips to cover window openings. Mica windows were the earliest form of windows in the United States. Because these thin sheets were transparent, they were called isinglass windows. Mica is also heat resistant, so sheets of mica were used to make isinglass curtains for lanterns and stoves. After the invention of electricity, isinglass was used to make lamp shades because it is also resistant to electricity.

    It’s the 1890’s in the Oklahoma Territory. Gordon McRae sits next to Shirley Jones bragging about the expensive carriage he is driving to the social. One feature he really likes is the “isinglass curtains you can roll right down in case there’s a change in the weather.” The Rodgers and Hammerstein lyrics describing the “Surrey with The Fringe on Top” imply that these isinglass curtains were “windows” that rolled up in good weather and down in stormy or cold weather. That is what isinglass curtains are, but the isinglass of the 1890’s couldn’t be rolled up and down.

    Isinglass is a semitransparent material formed by cleaning and drying the air bladders of fish such as sturgeon and cod. The substance is used in clarifying wine and beer and making glues and cement. Isinglass is also a synonym for any transparent material that is used to bring sunlight indoors while providing protection from the wind, rain and cold.
  3. Wow! Very bladders.:eek:
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  4. J. A. Miller
    Joined: Dec 30, 2010
    Posts: 1,319

    J. A. Miller
    from Central NY

    A big pet peeve of mine!!:D
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  5. klawockvet
    Joined: May 1, 2012
    Posts: 375


    The fish bladder material and mica are two different things. Although there is confusion about the spelling Isinglass is the fish product. Eisenglass was a trade name for a transparent product made from mica. I had and old diesel stove in a sailboat with a small window that was described as Eisenglass by the manufacturer. The product was far from crystal clear but it withstood years of very high heat. When replaced it was obvious that it was made up of layers of very fine sheets. There is absolutely nothing in a fish that would withstand that kind of heat.
  6. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 11,414

    from Quincy, IL

    Once again, the HAMB illustrates it’s collective capacity to educate it’s membership on a seemingly unlimited variety of topics! A wonderful resource for us all!
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  7. So, just to be clear, the stuff wasn't invented by General (and later President) Dwight D. Eisenhower!:eek:.....I know that sounds silly, but when I was youngster and some adult would say what it was, I thought it had something to do with him.:)
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  8. town sedan
    Joined: Aug 18, 2011
    Posts: 1,290

    town sedan

    This fish bladder product is used by some brewers as a clarifying agent before bottling, or packaging their libations.
  9. ......................I see what you did there.:D;)
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  10. 35cab
    Joined: Jan 5, 2011
    Posts: 253


    My father was a sign painter and used "Eisen-glass" in liquid form for gilding gold leaf on reverse of glass, always remember the odd smell.
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  11. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,056


    Those adults probably didn't know that it was laminated glass, not Eisen-glass.

    The safety glass delaminating has nothing to do with the neat stuff we're learning about mica and fish bladders.
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  12. ..........................I knew that I shouldn't have trusted an adult.:D;)
  13. Isn't it something like Mica? here in my area there use to be a huge Mica mine. HRP
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  14. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,146

    Rusty O'Toole

    The heat proof stove windows are made of mica. When I was a kid 60 years ago hardware stores sold sheets of it to repair your coal stove or wood stove window. It was about .060 thick made of numerous sheets as thin as tissue paper. It was like a slightly cloudy clear plastic but very brittle. It came in pieces about 4X5 inches in a paper envelope. You found it in among the stove and coal oil lamp accessories.
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  15. Hollywood-East
    Joined: Mar 13, 2008
    Posts: 1,197


    Fish bladders are used in Guinness beer... And are going to change it I heard... . Wait for it.... Because if you're vegan, Well that won't work apparently... Mica is also used in paint instead of metallic....
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  16. town sedan
    Joined: Aug 18, 2011
    Posts: 1,290

    town sedan

    Brewers yeast is a wonderful living organism maybe vegans should stick to water.
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  17. H380
    Joined: Sep 20, 2015
    Posts: 433

    from Louisiana

    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  18. [QUO After the invention of electricity, isinglass was used to make lamp shades because it is also resistant to electricity.

    It’s the 1890’

    I just want to know, who invented electricity???o_O
  19. Interesting read - HRP

    It’s evident from context that isinglass was some sort of early transparent material for side curtains, but this only begs the question. In fact, the more one looks into isinglass, the less clear it becomes. Yet, having owned a car with side curtains, I am delighted to offer these observations.

    In its primary definition, isinglass is a dried swim bladder of fish, primarily from sturgeon or cod. One of its uses is as a “fining,” a clarification agent, in the production of beer and wine. In fact, some vegetarians object to beers (such as Guinness and most stouts) that have been subjected to this process—it’s apparently acceptable with pescetarians (seafoods okay/other flesh not). Also, Kosher wines must use other than sturgeon isinglass because this fish is treif (Yiddish for “not kosher”).

    Having cited Yiddish—and what an odd turn of events, eh?—I return to the lyrics in what might be their original form. Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II wrote the music and lyrics, respectively, for Oklahoma!, and both of these gentlemen had some Jewish heritage.

    In a somewhat iconoclastic but entertaining analysis, entertainment authority Danny Miller has suggested that these two might have originally composed lyrics in Yiddish, then reworked them in English. Consult to hear “Surrey With The Fringe On Top” sung in this language. I catch no specific mention of isinglass, but maybe you will.

    A second meaning for isinglass relates to thin, transparent sheets of mica, a silicate mineral that sounds a lot closer to side curtain material.

    Small windows in furnaces made use of sheet mica because of its resistance to high temperature.

    Peepholes in boilers, stoves and the like used sheet mica because it was less likely to shatter than glass when exposed to extreme temperatures. It can stand up to 1650 degrees Fahrenheit, by which temperature, for example, sterling silver has melted.

    Muscovite is the most common form of mica. It became a Russian art form in Muscovy-glass windows.

    But isn’t mica a bit over the moon for simple side curtains, especially for those that “roll right down”?

    On the other hand, early side curtains didn’t have wide expanses of transparency. Cars of the Brass Era (pre-1915) typically had leather or canvas side curtains with only small horizontal or vertical slots of (unspecified) transparent material.

    Early side curtains provided weather protection, but not a lot of unrestricted vision. Image from Friartuck, Antique Automobile Club of America.

    Familiar names like Plexiglas (brought to market by German/American company Röhm and Haas in 1933), Lucite (1936) and Perspex are all transparent thermoplastics of the PMMA (polymethyl methacrylate) family. Though Rodgers and Hammerstein might have known of these products when they wrote Oklahoma! in 1943, the names would have been anachronistic in its 1906 setting.

    Today, Isinglass, Inc., founded in 2004, is a producer of buffet, banquet and tabletop presentation ware. And boating people talk about “Eising Glass” curtains, though this seems to be just a corruption of isinglass.

    Eising Glass is not to be confused with Dr. Eugene H. Eising. In Popular Science, December 1932, he was written up for exposing ordinary petroleum jelly to ultraviolet light, thereby creating an entirely new kind of healing agent. See The irradiated compound, “Radolatum,” was proposed for treating burns, boils, scalds—and even possibly cancer. “When more research has thrown full light on the ray phenomena, medicine will have new weapons to battle disease.”

    And haven’t we come a long way from that surrey?

    Dennis Simanaitis

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  20. Fortunateson
    Joined: Apr 30, 2012
    Posts: 3,109


    No one invented electricity though someone learned how to harness it.
  21. rd martin
    Joined: Nov 14, 2006
    Posts: 2,428

    rd martin
    from indiana

    wow, I will never look at another beer the same way ever again!:eek::cool:
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  22. Dino 64
    Joined: Jul 13, 2012
    Posts: 1,835

    Dino 64
    from Virginia

    That’s my last Guinness :eek:
  23. 41rodderz
    Joined: Sep 27, 2010
    Posts: 4,673

    from Oregon

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  24. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 17,109


    More for me.

    I'm a vegan.
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  25. tomic
    Joined: Jan 8, 2008
    Posts: 115


    well as EVERYONE KNOWS fish windows are made from mica then laminated. DUH!

    'isinglass' can refer to both fish bladders and the mineral stuff out of the earth. which is simply kinda funny. it is true that in some ways, delaminating automotive glass actually looks like mica. i have never seen a fish bladder i mean out of the context of a fish i gutted or whatever, so maybe it does.

    words are descriptive, not definitive. we call all sortsa shite all sorts'a shite.
    lothiandon1940 likes this.
  26. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 27,102


    Slightly related product, VISQUEEN, my Dad was the only person earth that used the term to describe clear plastic that he used to make storm windows for the screened in porch. Years ago someone on the HAMB mentioned it and that caused me to Google it and found out it wasn't a made up word, the product was invented in England after WWII. Eisen-glass, sounds like a Sothern kid admitting he is school. :rolleyes:Bob
  27. Does anyone know what the sandwiched material would have been in those laminated windows in vintage cars?
  28. The37Kid
    Joined: Apr 30, 2004
    Posts: 27,102


    DSCF0573.JPG DSCF0571.JPG They used Mica for spark plug insulators up to around 1910, you can see the stack of the thin sheets if you hold the plug up to alight.

  29. pitman
    Joined: May 14, 2006
    Posts: 4,917


    Lessee, some guy named Volta,
    or Prof. Coulomb?
    Reluctant-ly he brought 'ohm
    Le Resistance'!
    (Between the Wars)
    Reports were:
    While George played w/AC,
    Nicholas brought DC.
    Then there's young Tom E.
    (I must restrain my Capacity.) :rolleyes:
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2019
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  30. RMONTY
    Joined: Jan 7, 2016
    Posts: 1,692


    My stepfather was a stucco and plaster tradesman and he used that term as well. I hadn't heard (or seen) that word in many years. I used to work for him and got paid $2 an hour to build scaffold and "cover up" when I was a kid. I dont know if what he had me covering up wood trim work and concrete to protect it from plaster splatter was "visqueen" but that was what everyone on the jobsite called it. It was 6 mil plastic sheeting if I remember correctly.
    lothiandon1940 and The37Kid like this.

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