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Whilst the greatest effort has been made to ensure the quality of this text, due to the historical nature of this content, in some rare cases there may be minor issues with legibility. Celluloid is such a well-known product and appears to us in so many forms in everyday life that we are apt to take it for granted without bestowing much attention on it, and yet not many years ago celluloid was quite unknown, and our immediate ancestors had to be content to use the natural products with which it now more than competes.
It would be a difficult problem to enumerate all tho purposes to which celluloid has been applied, but it is used in place of ivory, tortoiseshell, bone, and horn for knife-handles, umbrella-handles, combs, boxes, buttons and ornamental trinkets generally. For this reason it has been known as imitation ivory, imitation tortoiseshell and so on, and this application of the word imitation to it has very largely detracted from its value in the view of those who are aesthetically inclined, the word imitation being abhorred by artists generally. From a practical point of view, however, celluloid exhibits so many useful properties that it has made for itself a place in industrial and everyday life.
Celluloid is a product of nitro- cellulose, and being allied to gun-cotton, is regarded as highly dangerous and as likely to explode if heated; but this is not the case. Although it is inflammable and will take fire when a flame is applied, it does not readily do so if ordinary care is taken, and under no conditions does it explode.