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Old 10th Mar 2007, 8:05 pm   #2
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Dundee, UK.
Posts: 1,597
Default Re: Ebonite cleaning / preserving

Many years ago, I was successful in polishing an ebonite panel from a 1920s radio using Brasso followed by Perspex polish in successively finer grades. This eventually restored the panel from a treacly brown to a shining black but I do not know how long the sheen lasted.

I seem to remember an article in a BVWS Bulletin by Fons van den Berghen on how he restored either some of his telegraph instruments or an early Marconi receiver, but either he did not give details of the ebonite restoration, or I could not find the article. The photographs certainly showed a beautifully restored panel.

Depending on the importance of the panel, I would not be too hesitant about trying to polish it as I have suggested, but keeping is polished is another matter.

This is the kind of question I would once have asked the staff of one of the big museums but they seem to be too short-staffed to reply now. There is also the controversial question as to whether items should be restored or merely conserved, with most institutions favouring simply conservation, although I suspect this is sometimes making virtue of necessity as there is neither the money or people available for good restoration.

The merits of restoration versus conservation of paintings seems to be entirely different for some reason.

Peter M. Munro

Last edited by Darren-UK; 13th Sep 2007 at 12:53 pm. Reason: Ref to another, now defunct, thread removed.
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