Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: late 1940s-1950s. Item #1492
Collection consists of: (1) 78 black and white photographs, 65 of which are adhesive mounted to pages of a vinyl corporate album, the rest are loose; (2) eight different items of ephemera and a few newspaper clippings; (3) four examples of the final product. Photos and examples of product near fine or better; ephemera generally very good or better. Ida Harman was an engineer working for Pittsburgh's Vernon-Benshoff Company, a dental materials business. She was tasked with finding a way to use the firm's acrylic resin denture base, Vernonite, for commercial purposes. Her boss started the project as a hobby in the 1930s by developing a process to embed items in plastic which could later be removed without damaging them. At the end of World War II he passed the baton to Harman, who came up with ways to safely encase a variety of materials, ultimately encasing watch parts for teaching aids, lighters, and like the examples included here, organic material and figurines. They marketed and sold a line of these items calling them “Castings in Vernonite”. She was later named manager of Vernon-Benshoff's Plastic Art Division and in a wonderful clipping from the Pittsburgh Press included here she is quoted in the article, “Do Women Really Make Good Bosses? ” The photographs show Harman at work in the lab and factory as well as a number of examples of finished products. Ephemera includes a few different types of marketing brochures, an offprint of Harman's scholarly article regarding a methacrylate resin denture base that appeared in The Journal of the American Dental Association and two pages of manuscript notes regarding a meeting she had with the Dupont Corporation. An interesting group documenting the efforts of a female scientist and business manager. This item is offered by Langdon Manor Books, LLC, antiquarian booksellers. Please do not hesitate to contact us for additional information and/or photos and we will respond promptly. We package our items carefully, ship daily, and have a no hassle returns policy--your satisfaction is guaranteed. We are members of the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America (ABAA) , the International League of Antiquarian Booksllers (ILAB) and the Independent Online Booksellers Association (IOBA) and adhere to their rules of ethics.