PMG History of Dry Mounting & Lamination

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Photographic Materials Conservation Catalog
History of Dry Mounting: Materials

Date: Initiated January 2017
Compiler: Stephanie Watkins
Contributors: This entry contains knowledge and research from framers, historians, scientists, and conservation colleagues who were interviewed, provided unpublished research, or unpublished notes and handouts from lectures and workshops by other colleagues. For full listing, please see specific citations in the Resources section near the end of this entry. Thank you to all for your generosity in sharing your piece of the puzzle with your fellow colleagues.

The Photographic Materials Conservation Catalog is produced by the Photographic Materials Group of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works as a convenience for the membership. The treatments, methods, or techniques described herein are provided for informational purposes. The reader assumes responsibility for any application results. Best professional judgement is necessary when using or interpreting information provided.

Purpose of documenting the history and development of dry mounting tissues, adhesives, and adhesive mounts

The purpose of documenting the history of dry mounting adhesives and practices is to aid the photographic materials conservator in making appropriate choices when removing, re-adhering, or re-mounting historic and artistic photographs. For additional information, philosophies, approaches, and techniques please refer to the dry mounting sections in Unmounting and Backing, Lining, and Mounting of the AIC-PMG Wiki.

Definition of terms

Many contemporary pressure-sensitive tapes, dry mounting, and lamination processes are manufactured from the same or similar synthetic, polymer materials. Please note, however, that in British English, the terms laminate and lamination are used interchangeably with dry mount and dry mounting processes and structures within the conservation literature. Dry mounting does create a laminated structure, however, in the USA, a "lamination" is a specific structure distinct from a dry mounted one in the placement of the adhesive layer(s).

  • Laminate: to make by uniting several layers and to cover with thin sheets; American Heritage Dictionary 1976: 734
  • Lamination (general) is the technique of manufacturing a material in multiple layers, so that the composite material achieves improved strength, stability, sound insulation, appearance or other properties from the use of differing materials. A laminate is a permanently assembled object by heat, pressure, welding, or adhesives. (From Wikipedia: Lamination, Carter, Richard. "Method of laminating multiple layers". Google Patents. Retrieved for WIKIpedia on 15 February 2015.)
  • A laminated item/a lamination (specific) film layers that surround and can encase the item. Thermoplastic film is placed around on either side of a paper or photograph, then heated and pressed for bonding. Classic examples of laminated structures are 20th c. identification cards, like a driver's license or a passport's image page.
  • Dry mount adhesive layer is between two items. An adhesive or adhesive/paper layer placed between a paper or photograph and the intended mount such as paper, paperboard/mat board/card, cloth, etc.. Classic examples of dry mounted structures are mounted 19th -20th c. advertising posters. The dry mount adhesive tissue sits between the poster and the mount holding the laminate structure together.
  • Cold mounts are a pressure activate adhesive film used at room temperature. Functions similarly to a pressure-sensitive adhesive tape system.
  • Spray mount are a solvent/polymer adhesive combination delivered (often under pressure) through a spray nozzle from a canister, like a spray paint can operates. The adhesive component remains when the volatile solvent evaporates.
  • Pressure-sensitive adhesives on films, tapes, and paper are activated at room temperature when they are peeled from a roll, then secured with light pressure such as from a finger or hand.
  • Thermoplastic polymers can be re-softened, re-melted back into a liquid state.
  • Thermosetting polymers remain in a permanent solid state.

Select Chronological Development

1850-1899
by 1850 in Europe and the British Isles (origins of dry mount):

  • Shellac-infused paper used as a food waterproofing container
  • Rubber-latex bandages used in medicine
  • Wax-infused paper (tracing paper) used in design and architecture
  • Heat and pressure used for wool hat manufacture
  • Adhesive infused papers used by jewelry makers for transferring and cutting out designs on metal sheets

1867 Jeyes (UK) patent: "dipping a substrate [paper] into an alcoholic solution of shellac..."
1894, 1895 Dobler (UK) patent: "Sweetheart Adhesive Cloth": gutta percha or india rubber brushed onto a substrate, dried, then activated with heat under pressure. Specifically advertised for use with photographs and book making.
1900-1929
1901 Derepas Brothers (FR) Patent: Shellac-infused paper, heat activated adhesion
1903 Adhesive Dry Mounting Company, Limited (UK) formed. Sold Derepas dry mount.
1906 Kodak (USA & UK) Dry Mount Tissue introduced. Later known as Type 1.
1908 Kodak pulled Dry Mount Tissue off the UK market and stocked Adhesive DM company's (Derepas) brand
1910 Derepas Patent overturned in British court as invalid. Shortly thereafter, the British market is flooded with commercial dry mount products.
1915 Adhesive Dry Mount Company changed product name to anagram, ADEMCO
(World War I interrupts trade routes/lac sources)
1930's
1930's Cellulose acetate film developed: Heat lamination process developed
1934 Kodak (USA) Dry Mount Tissue "improved".
1936 Seal Company (USA) formed.
1938 Seal's Foto-FlatR and ChartexR introduced (USA)
1940's
1941 Kodak's Thermount Tissue introduced (USA)
(World War II interrupts trade routes. War efforts drive experimentation and improvement on speed of exposing and developing photographic images regarding aerial and other photographic documentation.)
1950's
1953, 1955 Seal's MT5R introduced (USA). 1955 is also cited as market introduction date.
1957 Kodak's Thermount Tissue discontinued
1960's
1968 Kodak Resin Coated -RC- paper introduced.
late 1960's-early 1970's polymer thermoplastic adhesives/synthetic dry mounts developed; cold mounts developed, spray mount adhesives developed. (Theory by Watkins: Development of dry mounting adhesives with lower activation temperatures (below 210°F/98.9°C) industrially concurrent with or in response to the introduction of Resin Coated Papers that melt at higher press temperatures.)
1969 Seal's Foto-FlatR improved? or reformulated?
1970's
1970 BEVA 371 introduced (USA)
1973 Seal's ColormountR introduced (USA)
1974 Kodak's Dry Mount Tissue Type-2 introduced (USA)
1975 Kodak's Dry Mount TIssue Type-2 improved (USA)
1976, 1977, 1978 Seal's Fusion 4000 introduced (USA)
1980's
1980 Ademco's Lamatec and Texicryl on the market (UK). Introduction date ____?
1982, 1984 Seal's ArchivalMount introduced (USA)
1986-1988 3M's 572 ProMount Adhesive taken off the market (USA). Introduction date _____?
1987 (PTI) Paper Technology Industries' Polyester Adhesive Tissue introduced (USA)
1988 (At least by this date) Hunt's TechMount 1, TechMount 2, TechMount 3, and TechMount 4 on market. Introduction date(s) _____?
1989 Seal's MultiMountTM introduced (USA)
1990's
1990 Seal's Fusion Ultra introduced (USA).
1992 PTI's Polyester Adhesive Tissue discontinued (USA)
1992 Seal-Hunt's Single StepTM introduced (USA)
1994 (at least by, and possibly as early as 1992) Seal-Hunt's Fusion Ultra is discontinued
2000's
2010's

Dry Mount Product Listing (alphabetical)

If you encounter a commercial product not listed below, or if you have researched or analyzed one of these products and can fill in missing information, please share with your colleagues by listing your information and data here!
Adhesive Web (Archivart, USA):
Archival MountTM Plus (Seal, USA):
BEVA 371 (Adams Chemical Company, USA):
BufferMount (Seal, D&K, USA):
Chartex (Seal, USA):
ColorMountTM Plus (Seal, D&K, USA):
Duramount (Duracraft):
Dry Lam Colortac:
Dry/Dri-Tac:
FotoFlatTM (Seal, USA):
FusionTM 4000 (Seal, D&K, USA):
FusionTM 4000 Plus (Seal, USA):
FusionTM Ultra (Seal, USA):
Kodak Dry Mount Tissue (later called, Type-I) (Kodak, USA):
Kodak Dry Mount Tissue Type-2 (Kodak, USA):
Lamatec (Ademco-Seal, UK):
MT5TM Plus (Seal, USA):
MultiMountTM (Seal, USA):
Polyester Adhesive Tissue (Paper Technology Incorporated, USA):
RagMount (Seal, D&K, USA):
Scotch 572 ProMount Adhesive (3M, USA):
Single-StepTM (Hunt-Bienfang, GR):
SuperstickTM Mounting adhesive (Seal, D&K, USA):
Techmount 1, 2, 3, & 4 (Hunt-Bienfang, GR) & Techmount (D&K):
Texicryl (Ademco, UK):
Thermount (Kodak, USA):
Thermomount Extramount-C (Print Mount Products Inc, USA):
Thermomount Extramount-O (Print Mount Products Inc, USA):
Thermomount Promount (Print Mount Products Inc, USA):
Thermomount Postermount (Print Mount Products Inc, USA):
Thermomount Safemount (Print Mount Products Inc, USA):
Thermomount Versamount (Print Mount Products Inc, USA):
Unsupported Archibond (Conservation Resources, UK):

  • Introduced:
  • Discontinued:
  • Description:
  • Core type and pH:
  • Thickness
  • Temperature activation:
  • Bond type:
  • Solvent solubility:
  • Analysis:
  • Marketing notes (from manufacturer):
  • Comments:

Lamination Product Listing (alphabetical)

Resources

Information sources for history and analysis

  • Gary Albright:
  • Badiyan, Dorna and Patrick Ravines. 1997. MT5’ Dry Mount Tissue: Accelerated Aging, Solubility, SEM, and FTIR Studies, Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference of the Institute of Paper Conservation, April 6th-9th, 1997, London, England, 231-239.
  • Buckley, Barbara Buckley. 1981. Unpublished student lecture notes paper conservation seminar by Jean Rosston, University of Delaware/Winterthur Art Conservation.
  • Creasy, Helen J. 1988. Mounted Photographs c. 1880-1910. Unpublished student research paper. Photographic Materials Block, University of Delaware/Winterthur Art Conservation.
  • Fairbrass, Sheila, “An Investigation into the Adhesives Used for Dry-Mounting (Laminating) Paper,” Conference Papers Manchester 1992, published by the Institute of Paper Conservation, pp 91-95.
  • Hockings, Heather. 1991. Personal communications with Watkins. French Translations.
  • Hopson, Steve. 2004. Studio Tac; personal conversation with Watkins.
  • Hunter, Marion. 1998. Shellac dry mount notes, Orraca Workshop, Kent, CT, USA
  • Hunter, Marion. 2003. Personal conversation with Watkins.
  • Lemmen, Barbara. 2013, 2017. Personal conversations with Watkins.
  • Lemmen, Barbara. 2013. Dry Mount Tissues. CCAHA workshop handout.
  • Lyons, Robert: personal conversation with Watkins, and lecture AIC-PMG) ---- ,
  • Morgan, Suzy. 2009. Chartex, student research paper, University of Texas at Austin/Kilgarlin School of Graduate Studies
  • Reinhold, Nancy. 1991 An Investigation into Commercially Available Dry Mount Tissues, Topics in Photographic Preservation, published by the Photographic Materials Group of the American Institute for Conservation, volume 4, pp 14-30.
  • Romer, Grant. 1991. Personal communications with Watkins.
  • Schenck, Kimberly, and Constance McCabe. 1988 PMG lecture. Preliminary Testing of Adhesives Used in Photograph Conservation, Topics in Photographic Preservation, 1989, vol. 3, 52-61.
  • Watkins, Stephanie. 1993. Origins and Development of Dry Mounting, The Book and Paper Group Annual, Vol. 12: Washington, DC: American Institute for Conservation
  • Weaver, Gawain. 2005. Supplied workshop handouts from Orraca Workshop, Sharon, CT, organized by Gary Albright.
  • Wilhelm, Henry, with contributing author, Carol Brower. 1993. The Permanence and Care of Color Photographs:374-377; 403-404.

Historic Dry Mount References by Photographers and Industry

  • Adams, A. 1983.Finishing, Mounting, Storage, Display. The Print, A. Adams and R. Baker. Boston: Little Brown and Co. 145-167.
  • Anonymous. 1906. "Kodak Dry Mounting Tissue". Aristo Eagle (5): 20-21.
  • British Journal of Photography, established 1854, particularly between 1896-1915, occasional articles, questions in letters to editor, and advertisements.
  • Camera Craft,
  • Camera Work,
  • Keefe, Lawrence E. and D. Inch. 1984. Dry Mounting. The Life of a Photograph: Archival Processing, Matting, Framing, and Storage. Boston: Focal Press. 65-78.
  • Plikaytis, B. 1997. Procedures for Dry Mounting Photographs. Photo Techniques (Mar/April 1997): 46-51.
  • Time Life Books. 1972. The Advantages of Dry Mounting. Caring for Photographs: Display, Storage, Restoration. New York: Time Life Books. 130-133.



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