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Plastics (Spirit Markings)

Plastics (Spirit Markings)

Paranormally obtained plastics may be divided into two groups: imprints and molds. The first may be produced in any soft, yielding substance or on smoked or chemically treated surfaces; for the second, melted paraffin wax is employed.

Paranormal Imprints

Johann C. F. Zöllner, in his experiments with the medium Henry Slade, placed a dish filled to the brim with flour under the table hoping the spirit hand that took hold of him might leave an impression in the flour. Baron Lazar Hellenbach testified to having seen an impression of a hand larger than Slade's or any other individual present. None of their hands had any trace of flour. Zöllner also obtained the imprint of a foot on two sheets of paper covered with lamp black between two closed slates.

The imprint of a hand with four fingers, the imprint of a bird, two feet, and a materialized butterfly were supposedly obtained during the George Valiantine -Bradley sittings in 1925, in England. Charles Sykes, the British sculptor, was unable to give an explanation, as was Noel Jaquin, a fingerprint expert. In 1931, however, the same experts claimed to have caught Valiantine in a fraud. They smeared printing ink in secret on the modeling wax, stripped Valiantine after the séance and found a large stain on his left elbow corresponding with the lines of the imprint. Other imprints were found identical to those of his toes.

Palladino's Mediumship

Eusapia Palladino produced hand and face imprints in putty and clay. Reportedly they bore her characteristics, although she was held at a distance from the tray while the impression was made. Numerous imprints were obtained by the psychical researchers Cesare Lombroso, Enrico Morselli, Er-cole Chiaia, and Guillaume de Fontenay.

Camille Flammarion claimed to be a witness of the process at Monfort-l'Amaury in 1897. Supposedly the resemblance of the spirit head to the medium was undeniable, yet seemingly she could not have imprinted her face in the putty. Besides having been physically controlled, Ms. Z. Blech kissed Palladian on the cheeks, searching for the odor of putty on her face.

Julien Ochorowitz wrote of Palladino's mediumship at Rome:

"The imprint of this face was obtained in darkness, yet at a moment when I held two hands of Eusapia, while my arms were entirely around her. Or, rather, it was she who clung to me in such a way that I had accurate knowledge of the position of all her limbs. Her head rested against mine even with violence. At the moment of the production of the phenomena a convulsive trembling shook her whole body, and the pressure of her head on my temples was so intense that it hurt me."

Paranormal Molds

In normal wax molding, the technical process of the production of paraffin wax casts begins with the placement of buckets of hot and cold water placed side by side. The hot water will melt the paraffin. If one dips a hand in and withdraws it, a thin shell of the liquid will settle and congeal. If a hand is dipped alternately into the hot paraffin and into the cold water the shell will thicken. When the hand is freed, a wax glove is left behind. These gloves are fragile. They must be filled with plaster of Paris to preserve. Then if the paraffin wax is melted off, the texture of the skin appears in the plaster. The hand freed from the paraffin shell must be washed in soap and water before another experiment, or the second shell will stick to the fingernails. Altogether, it takes about twenty minutes to deliver a finished shell. The fingers of the hand must be held fairly straight, otherwise they will break the shell when withdrawn. For the same reason no full cast, up to the wrist, can be obtained.

Supposedly molds obtained by psychical researchers in séances with mediums have bent fingers, joined hands, and wrists. These molds are fine and delicate, whereas those obtained from living hands are thick and solid.

The first paraffin wax casts were obtained by William Denton in 1875, in Boston with the medium Mary M. Hardy. Hardy produced the paraffin wax gloves in public halls. To test Hardy's ability, the dish of paraffin was weighed before the mold appeared and after. In later years, another test was devised, locking up the liquid paraffin wax and cold water in a wire cage. After Denton, Epes Sargent investigated Hardy.

In England, William Oxley produced the first psychic molds in 1876 with Elizabeth d'Esperance and later with Mrs. A. H. Firman and the Rev. Francis W. Monck. Similar success was claimed with the Davenport Brothers, William Eglinton, and Annie Fairlamb around the same time. T. P. Barkas of Newcastle, England, mixed magenta dye in the paraffin wax during experiments with Fairlamb in 1876. The gloves had traces of the dye.

The psychical researcher Alexander Aksakof hypothesized that the plaster casts showed similar characteristics between the medium and the materialization. He noted that Oxley made similar observations and quoted his letter:

"It is a curious fact that one always recognises in the casts the distinctive token of youth or age. This shows that the materialised limbs, whilst they preserve their juvenile form, evince peculiarities which betray the age of the medium. If you examine the veins of the hand you will find in them characteristic indications which indisputably are associated with the organism of the medium."

It had been suggested the wax gloves may have been prepared from inflated rubber gloves. Gustav Geley produced some casts using rubber gloves for comparison. They were also put on display. The charge that the gloves may have been made previous to the séance could not be sustained.

One variety of plastics is the working of linen into the semblance of human features by psychic means. Reportedly Dr. Eliakim Phelps left a well-detailed description of an instance, including the appearance of 11 figures of "angelic beauty." Occasionally similar phenomena have been reported as a manifestation in haunted houses, with cushions assuming the shape of human forms.

There are also artistic efforts under the heading of direct paintings the paint appears to give three-dimensional effects. Many such pictures were produced during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

There are various methods to produce imprints. Mrs. Albert Blanchard, an American medium, produced imprints by depositing sediment under water in a dish. F. Bligh Bond discussed her work in Psychic Research (October 1930) using data collected from Horace Newhart. Blanchard put clay and water in a shallow dish, stirred the sediment with her fingers, and let it settle. When the water evaporated, supposedly the clay had assumed the outlines of a human face or head in low relief.

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Plastics

Plastics

The term plastic can be used as both an adjective and a noun. As an adjective, the term refers to any material that can be shaped or molded, with or without the application of heat. In this respect, objects such as soft waxes, asphalt, and moist clays are said to be plastic.

As a noun, the term describes a natural or synthetic polymer. A polymer is a material whose molecules consist of very long chains of one or two repeating units known as monomers. As an example, the synthetic polymer called polyethylene consists of thousands of ethylene units joined to each other in long chains. If the letter E is taken to represent an ethylene unit (monomer), then the polymer polyethylene can be represented as:

-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-E-

Although the term plastic is strictly defined as either a natural or synthetic material, it is probably understood by most people today to refer

primarily to artificial materials. Substances such as nylon, Styrofoam, Plexiglass, Teflon, and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) are examples of such materials.

Thermoplastic and thermosetting plastics

Plastics can be subdivided into two large categories: thermoplastic and thermosetting. The former term refers to a material that can be melted and shaped over and over again. Examples of thermoplastics include acetal, acrylic, cellulose acetate, polyethylene, polystyrene, vinyl, and nylon.

A thermosetting plastic, in contrast, can be melted and shaped only once. If it is then heated a second time, it tends to crack or disintegrate. Examples of thermosetting plastics (or just thermosets) include amino, epoxy, and phenolic and unsaturated polyesters.

Words to Know

Composite: A combination of a plastic and one or more additives that has special properties not possessed by the plastic alone.

Monomer: A fundamental unit of which a polymer is composed.

Polymer: A substance composed of very large molecular chains that consist of repeating structural units known as monomers.

Thermoplastic: A polymer that softens when heated and that returns to its original condition when cooled to ordinary temperatures.

Thermosetting plastic (or thermoset): A polymer that solidifies when heated and that cannot be melted a second time.

Additives

Very few plastics are used in their pure state. Many different materials known as additives are added to improve their properties. Products consisting of pure plastics and additives are known as composites. For example, the strength of a plastic can be increased by adding glass, carbon, boron, or metal fibers to it. Materials known as plasticizers make the plastics more pliable and easier to work with. Some typical plasticizers include low-melting solids, organic liquids, camphor, and castor oil. Fillers are materials made of small particles that make a plastic more resistant to fire; attack by heat, light, or chemicals; and abrasion. They also can be used to add color to the plastic.

[See also Polymer ]

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vinyl

vi·nyl / ˈvīnl/ • n. 1. synthetic resin or plastic consisting of polyvinyl chloride or a related polymer, used esp. for wallpapers and other covering materials and for phonograph records: light-reflecting vinyls can be hung in the usual way. ∎ vinyl used as the standard material for phonograph records: fans had to wait almost a year before the song eventually appeared on vinyl. 2. [as adj.] Chem. of or denoting the unsaturated hydrocarbon radical −CH=CH2, derived from ethylene by removal of a hydrogen atom: a vinyl group.

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vinyl plastics

vinyl plastics, group of thermoplastics used in molded products, flexible tubing, material for raincoats, and laminated safety glass. Vinyl plastics are polymers and copolymers of vinyl derivatives (i.e., derivatives of ethylene, H2C[symbol]CH2), e.g., vinyl chloride (H2C=CHCl) and vinyl acetate (H2C=CH-OOC-CH3). Polyethylene may be considered the simplest of the vinyl polymers, and polyvinyl chloride is an important member of this group. Polytetrafluoroethylene, or Teflon, is also sometimes classed as a vinyl polymer.

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vinyl

vinyl •anthill • Edgehill • sidehill • molehill •foothill • dunghill •sigil, strigil, vigil •strongyle • Virgil • Gaitskell • orchil •roadkill • Danakil • overkill •amyl, Tamil •treadmill • windmill • gristmill •sawmill • watermill • vinyl • mini-pill •overspill • Caryl •mandrel, mandrill •Avril •beryl, Cheryl, chrysoberyl, imperil, Merrill, peril, Sheryl •tendril • April • Cyril • fibril • nombril •nostril • Bovril • tumbril • escadrille •espadrille • gracile • Cecil • utensil •codicil • windowsill •dactyl, pterodactyl •pastille • standstill •dentil, lentil, ventil •quintile • pistil • postil • tormentil •ethyl

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