Sunday, May 18, 2008

Buildings in Lucite

Reminiscent of insects trapped in amber, souvenir buildings in Lucite have suffered a similar fate. Encased in clear material, the miniature architecture is trapped and suspended. One can only assume why these were produced. Perhaps the building or other item inside was small and this was a way to make an overall larger souvenir paperweight. Lucite and acylic are transparent thermoplastic developed in 1928 and brought to market in 1933 as a subsitute for glass. During the World War II, acrylic glass was used for submarine periscopes, windshields, canopies and gun turrets for airplanes. A word of caution for collectors of these variations of souvenir buildings - Don’t display them in direct sun. The Lucite will crack and craze, slowly obscuring the building inside.

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