SHORT COMMUNICATION EARLY WOOD-FIBER PANELS: MASONITE, HARDBOARD, AND LOWER-DENSITY BOARDS
ALEXANDER W. KATLAN
ABSTRACT—The author discusses the early use in the 19th and 20th centuries of lignocellulose fiberboards by artists. Hardboards and “Masonite process” boards are defined and discussed, and patent dates are clarified, including the possibility that fiberboards were available to artists as early as 1861, judging by two British patents of that date, and the fact that wood-fiber boards were commercially manufactured in England by 1893. The advantages and disadvantages of Masonite as an artist's painting support are discussed, as is a new Masonite-type hardboard that recently was introduced.
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