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1947-48 Theatre Catalog, 6th Edition, Page 172 (160)

1947-48 Theatre Catalog, 6th Edition
1947-48 Theatre Catalog
1947-48 Theatre Catalog, 6th Edition, Page 172
Page 172

1947-48 Theatre Catalog, 6th Edition, Page 172

Use of Fiberglas Materials in the Theatre

Many Forms of the Fire-Proof Glass Product

Employed for Decoration as Well as Utility

Theatre owners and operators have been singularly fortunate during the past few years while a series of disastrous fires has swept hotels, night clubs, and other places of public assembly. While congratulating themselves on their good fortune, however, it is well for them to bear in mind that these fires have all shown that, regardless of the construction of the building itself, no building is fire-safe if it is filled with highly combustible materials.

An open hearth furnace is a fire-proof structure, but no one in his right mind would choose it as a place to relax. A fire-proof building filled with flammable materials will burn almost as fiercely as the open hearth, once a fire gets well started. Fire-proof buildings will not burn down, but they do burn out, and their unfortunate occupants are not likely to attach much importance to the distinction.

Most buildings in which large numbers of people congregate are filled with a great variety of materials that are more or less combustible. Only by reducing this combustible content is it possible adequately to safeguard human life. No single sweeping measureethe replacement of no one combustible material by a non-combustible materialewill wholly solve the problem, but any measure which will reduce the overall combustible content is a step toward true fire safety.


Owens-Coming Fiberglas Corporation


Flammable drapery and upholstery materials are among the greatest fire hazards in structures sheltering large numbers of people. Developments that can help eliminate these hazards are expansion of the line of decorative fabrics woven of non-combustible Fiberglas yarns, the production of Fiberglasasbestos and Fiberglas-cotton decorative fabrics, the availability of coated Fiberglas upholstery fabrics, and a new upholstery filler consisting of resilient Fiberglas fibers in blanket form.

The fabrics woven wholly of Fiberglas yarns, and of Fiberglas and asbestos yarns, are completely non-combustible and require no subsequent retreatment to maintain their permanent inability to burn. The fabrics woven of Fiberglas yarns and dame-proofed cotton yarns are highly fire-resistive so long as the flame-proofing agent in the cotton remains effective, as shown by fire tests made by the Board of Standards and Appeals of New York City.

The Fiberglas-cotton fabric was brought in contact with the flame of a Bunsen burner for a period of 12 seconds. No flashing occurred on the lengths of the test specimens. After the flame was

ON THE SIDE WALLS of the auditorium of the Madison Theatre, Covinqton, Kentucky, is Fiberglas

fabric done in a tropical pattern 01 blue on rose-ash.

It is laid over an acoustical material. The stage

curtains and valances are of Fiberglas fabric in alternate gray and yellow stripes. Such fabrics are,

because they are of glass. entirely tire-proof.

Thy can now be obtained in a variety of patterns.

it ,,

withdrawn, the average continuation of flaming usually observed was non existent. The average continuation of'

glow at the edge of the area in which the cotton yarns had charred was less than 14 seconds and the glow was confined to the charred area.

The objective in developing Fiberglasasbestos and Fiberglas-cotton decorative fabrics is to provide new types of fabrics possessing highly desirable properties that no one textile fiber can provide alone. In the Fiberglas-cotton combination, for instance, the cotton fibers make possible unique color and print effects. The Fiberglas fibers reduce the potentially combustible content of the fabrics, make possible unusual design effects by selective dyeing, and greatly increase tensile strength. They are also responsible for the high dimensional stability of the fabrics, which makes it possible for draperies to be cut and sewed to their required finished dimensions, without risk of stretch after hanging.


Vinyl-coated Fiberglas upholstery fabrics are designed for use in places of public assembly. Available in a variety of colors, these fabrics will not burn, are highly wear-resistant and can be cleaned by wiping with a damp cloth. They will protect a flammable filler material from a carelessly dropped cigarette, or other source of fire. They are designed to prevent the filler from flaming or propagating fire in surrounding furniture or floor covering, even if the filler should be ignited by intense heat.


A nonccombustible filler material, consisting of Fiberglas superfine fibers in blanket form, has recently been developed, primarily for seat and seatback cushions in public conveyances. Further development may lead to use of this filler in theatre seat cushions, thus providing both an unburnable fabric and filler for such upholstery use.


Fiberglas acoustical tile provides a non-combustible ceiling of high sound absorbing value, at low cost. The tile can be cemented to a solid backing. nailed to wood furring strips, or attached to metal furring strips. Painted White at the factory. the tile has an original light reflection coefficient of not less than 0.75.

A Fiberglas acoustical board is also available for use with recessed-type fluorescent light troders to form a lowcost, suspended, sound-absorbent ceiling. The board is simply laid between continuous troffer rows. Like the tile, it is painted white at the factory and has an original light reflective coefficient of not less than 0.75.

1947-48 Theatre Catalog, 6th Edition, Page 172