JF Ptak Science Books Post 977
Well, this is a confusing title, with two seemingly unrelated affairs, no? It is probably sexier (?) too than the actual contents, but, we'll let the cheeks fall where they may. The origin of this post is found in the title to this large, over-sized 1937 pamphlet, Sat on by Millions:
This really is the "story of FABRIKOID", a plastic-y bit of seating innovation brought to America by the good chemical engineers in service of du Pont. It was the stuff used to make artificial artificial flowers and truck upholstery, book covers and bus tops. But something happened somewhere along the line to make it more
attractive to look at and feel, and thus was born the cushioned and upholstered restaurant/movie house chair that you could simply spray off with water from a hose. (My friend Andy is much enamored with his new Honda "Element", the interior outfitted in such a way that he could, he related excitedly, "wash out with the garden hose".)
Du Pont did test it out with 200 million pounds of buttocks--a mechanical test of the equivalent of a 200-pound man sitting on a FABRIKOID-covered seat one million times. The flexing was evidently perfect, the company recalling another great success story of another FABRIKOID chair being sat on by thousands at the Chicago World's Fair
and then sent out on a tour around the country. (I'm not sure that I'd stand in a line to sit in the most-sat-in chair in the world, as appealing as that might be...)
[Federal Reserve Club of Los Angeles.]
But the more appealing aspect of this pamphlet--aside from the great chemical achievement--are the luxurious (and early) color photographs of the FABRIKOID-covered furniture. There are colors to remind everyone that color did exist in the 1930's, and that when Bogart was cruising a bar for raw whiskey and a cig it could've had blue floors and red and yellow chairs, and not just the simpler gray stuff that we're used to seeing.
Perhaps it is better seeing Bogey in a haze of smoke snuggled into a blackish chair rather than what it might've (blue and yellow) been.