In 1887 two German researchers, A. SPITTELER and W. HIRSCHE work with a precious element: milk. After many manipulations, coagulations, purifications, dryings, they obtain casein that they name “milk stone” or “Galalith” from the Greek “gala”, milk, and “lithos”, stone. They register the patent and capture the term “galalith”.
At the beginning of the 20th century, a Frenchman, Auguste TRILLAT, finds the means of rendering casein indissoluble. An invention patent is registered on June 27th 1902 by the French Company of Galalith.
This material is harder than horn, shinier than bone, and silkier to the touch than ivory, and it is not molded. It requires a manual polishing workmanship.
It is in 1918 that the fabrication and current utilization of galalith start happening for the design and production of diverse articles such as: buttons, cigarette-holders, pens, umbrella tops and handles, switches, jewelry, etc...
In the 1930’s, it peaks and close to more than a thousand tons are produced, only in the region of Haut- Jura (French province). One should note that between 27 and 30 grams of casein are extracted from a liter of milk!
Nowadays, only a few artists, lovers of this noble material, work with it and market it.
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