How Machines Make Magic Carpets from Oil and Cork (Mar, 1922)
How Machines Make Magic Carpets from Oil and Cork
A HALF a century ago a young inventor noticed that the film on a can of paint was tough. He exposed linseed oil to the air, oxidizing it, then mixed in cork and gum, and produced a substance that could be rolled out, like a pie-crust, into a carpet. Today linoleum, which he thus originated, is manufactured by the machinery pictured on this page.
In the color-design department this block-cutter is carving designs or “cuts” for printing linoleum carpet.
Heated rollers weighing 26 tons each, press into burlap a cement composition of oxidized linseed oil, cork, and gum, forming a waterproof floor-covering.
Above is shown one of the presses.
Here in the oxidizing sheds, boiled linseed oil drips from a conveyor to sheets of scrim that hang from the ceiling. Heat and oxygen turn the oil into semi-solid form.
Operated on a track, so that they can be moved from one end of the building to another, the printing-presses shown in the photograph above stamp color designs on wide sheets of linoleum.
Fresh from the printing-press, the sheet of linoleum is hung in loops to dry in a chamber or “stove” heated to 100 degrees. Above is a top view of the “stove”.
The semi-solid linseed oil on the oxidizing sheets is mashed and mixed with rosin and gum into a cement or binder that will hold the pulverized cork together.
Above are three of the vats in which linseed oil, one of the principal ingredients of linoleum, is boiled. From the vats the oil is pumped to the oxidizing sheds.
A pile of linoleum cement just after it has been poured from a vat for cooling may be seen in the photograph at the left. When dry, the cement looks like marshmallow.