Notes to self

  • Mapbak: similar product made by DryTec…still in production, uses “solvent acrylic” adhesive
  • Chartex shows up in the 1988 volume of the Trademark Register, but not the 1989 nor any of the following years.  Can possibly assume Seal had ceased production by 1989…
  • Marketed to teachers and librarians (ALA Bulletin Ad #1, ALA Bulletin Ad #2, Teacher Ad #1)
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One Response to “Notes to self”

  1. Neil Cockerline Says:

    Hello Suzy: Bravo! for your initial research on this product, which has been a personal thorn in my side for several years now. I am Neil Cockerline, the author of one of the journal articles that you quoted. I also have a personal collection of over 10,000 original circus posters that after seeing the deteriorated conditions of the posters at Circus World Museum that were lined with this horrible product, I have refused to purchase ANY poster that has a backing with Chartex or any other type of heat set backing paper or cloth for the past 20 years. Too many circus posters have been ruined by this product whether it was applied properly or not. While the structure may at first be flexible, with age the Chartex becomes brittle and turns into a real mess. Have you identified the actual chemical composition of the Chartex adhesive, and if so, have you found any treatment that will reverse it? Or at least soften it? If so, you need to publish this information for the sake of saving many of the extremely rare and historically significant circus posters (among others, I’m sure) that have been subjected to this horrible treatment in the past. You can’t imagine how saddened I am when I view these tremendous works of art (Yes, circus posters were defined as works of art by the Supreme Court in a case brought before them at the turn of the 19th century!) that have been subjected to this horrendous material. I know of another conservator who was able to experiment with some treatments trying to remove Chartex backings at the Ringling Museum with some success and I wonder if you are familiar with her work? At any rate, I would love the opportunity to communicate with you on this subject, so please e-mail me at your convenience. I am hopeful that a treatment can be found to reverse these backings in the future that will not affect the original paper or printing inks in any way. Is this the Holy Grail of circus poster conservation? I am still searching! Best regards, Neil Cockerline

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