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1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 153 (131)

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition
1945 Theatre Catalog
1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 153
Page 153

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 153

Metals in the Service of the Theatre

The Common and Not-so-Common Metals Find Many Uses in Construction and Decoration

Two classes of metals and alloys are employed in architectural serviceethe unseen, which are rated strictly on utility, and the seen, rated on a combination of utility and aesthetics. Fortunately, there is now such a wide range of metals and alloys from which to choose that both considerations can be satisfied.

Metal fitness is governed more by resistance to corrosion than by any other factor. Since conditions vary, consideration must be given to differences in the rate of corrosion or surface change when the metal is used in dry, rural, or interior locations and when it is used near the seashore or subject to corrosive gases or constant dampness.

Improvements in alloying, in the state of purity of metals obtainable, and in metal-Working equipment have now made available suitable metals for use in a wide range of formsefrom wire, cable, tubing, rod, extruded, and rolled shapes to sheet, strip, and intricately stamped, forged, and cast forms. Likewise, surfacing can be varied from a dull, matte, or sand-blasted surface to a mirror finish with various highlighted and in-between stages.

There is less scope in colors, yet wellknown combinations of white, shades of yellow and copper-red in natural colors, and several patina colors are readily available. Some alloys other than copper and gold base alloys are naturally colored, but, unfortunately, they are brittle

ALUMINUM IN THE THEATRE is becoming common, especially when employed as display frames. In these photographs, furnished by the Universal Corporation, are seen some details of that company's Sealuxe line.

a partially opened frame showing a poster in place, and also the date strip,




Metallurgist, Butrelle Memarial Institute

and must be used as castings or surfacings. Thus, in using metals for decorative, as well as for structural, purposes, considerable design flexibility is given the architect by the wide scope of raw materials available.

It is expected that an increased "clad erai, will come in the post-war years with an increased use of aluminum-, stainless steel-, nickel-, and copper-clad steels. Also to be expected is metalclad plywood, employing steel, copper, or aluminum as the cladding material.

War demands virtually stopped the civilian use of metals. With industry reconverted to peace, in efficiently operated plants, and with the manufacturing and marketing know-how, the United States should be in an excellent position to provide tailor-made metallic products for specific applications, to gain advantages of inherent properties of metals and their alloys.

It is well to consider the important metals and their alloys, reviewing the present situation and possibilities of the future in decoration and construction.


One of the most important metals used for decoration is aluminum. Its lightnesseabout one-third that of steel or

At the left is shown

coppereis a decided asset for many applications and makes it an economical metal to use on a volume basis. It can be cast, formed by extrusion, pressing, spinning, or rolling, and machined and welded. Hence, it is readily converted into practically any shape or form desired.

For increased strength, aluminum is alloyed with copper, silicon, manganese, magnesium, zinc, or combinations of them. Such alloys as duralumin are seldom used for decoration, unless high strength is essential, since it is less corrosion resistant than aluminum alone. An aluminum-base alloy with 2 to 9 per cent magnesium is much used architecturally, especially in Great Britain. Some of the aluminum alloys developed during the war can compete directly with structural steel on a strength basis, without considering the advantage of lesser weight.

Aluminum acquires in air a thin transparent oxide coating, which is effective in preventing further attack. Even when attacked by particularly corrosive conditions, as along the seashore, there is no staining of adjoining materials. A heavier oxide coating, electrolytically produced, is harder and more resistant to wear and weathering, and can be dyed to practically any color. Both the oxidized surfaces and colored finishes will resist atmospheric conditions. The darker colors are recommended for ex which can, of course, be changed as the occasion requires. At the right is seen a cut-away model of the frame, showing the type of braced construction and the method of mounting the glass. The sturdy frame is mounted with the substantial back board that will take many thumbtacks and much more wear.

1945 Theatre Catalog, 4th Edition, Page 153