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Viscoloid Company Collection

A description of the collection at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: DGI/MM
Date: 2006

Biographical History

In 1901, Bernard W. Doyle joined with a few others to establish the Viscoloid Company in Leominster, Massachusetts, and pioneer in the pyroxylin plastics industry of the area. They manufactured hair combs and ornaments, replacing the tradition horn with plastic. The company expanded to other toilet articles in 1910 as sales declined for hair ornaments. By 1914, they entered the plastic toy market. Du Pont purchased the company in 1925-1926.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Viscoloid Company Collection consists of papers about and by Doyle, plans for the Viscoloid plant, and stencils for hair combs and ornaments.

Papers contains a history report on the company, a biography on Doyle, and other notes and assorted papers.

Plans contains a plan of the Viscoloid plant in Leominster, Massachusetts.

Stencils contains 80 paper stencils for hair combs and ornaments. Each has a four-digit number starting with 39xx. Although without a definitive date, they were created before the company's sale to Du Pont in 1925.

Arrangement of the Collection

Stencils kept in order as found.


Access Restrictions:

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Stencils are EXTREMELY fragile. Great care must be taken when viewing them.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Related Material

Special Collections Research Center has numerous holdings in the areas of plastics and industrial design. Please refer to the SCRC Subject Index for a complete listing.

Subject Headings

Corporate Bodies

Viscoloid Company -- Archives.


Ornamental combs.
Plastics industry and trade.

Genres and Forms


Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Viscoloid Company Collection,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Transfer from National Plastics Center and Museum, 11/06/2008. Originally, gift of Evelyn B. Hachey, 1998.

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