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Subject: Early 20th century paper repair

Early 20th century paper repair

From: Christine Smith <consartpap<-a>
Date: Thursday, April 28, 2005
In Conservation DistList Instance: 18:51 Tuesday, April 26, 2005, I

>Is anyone familiar with the term "plaster" to describe mends or
>fills to paper objects?  I have treatment reports from the first two
>decades of the 20th century describing work done in the U.S.

Many thanks to the people who replied to my query.  They asked
whether the term could have been used by someone born in England
where *plaster* refers to what Americans call a band-aid, and so
they have cleared up another of life's mysteries.  William Berwick
(1846 - 1920) was born in England and lived there till he was 19. He
removed old repairs on the objects in question and must have told
journalists that he had taken off *plasters.*  A pre-treatment
photograph shows band-aid-shaped paper or cloth spanning splits on
the objects.  The American  journalists probably took care to repeat
the words he used to describe his treatment.  So it seems to have
been a generic term for what we now call mending strips.

Christine Smith
Conservation of Art on Paper, Inc.
2805 Mount Vernon Avenue
Alexandria, Virginia 22301

                  Conservation DistList Instance 18:53
                  Distributed: Saturday, May 14, 2005
                       Message Id: cdl-18-53-008
Received on Thursday, 28 April, 2005

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