Skip to main content


Xylonite. Fibrous vegetable matter (e.g. cotton and flax waste and old rags), dissolved in acid and neutralized, which produced a substance called Parkesine, named after its inventor, Edmund Alexander Parkes (1813–90), of Birmingham. In its liquid state it was used as a waterproofing agent, in its plastic form for insulation, and, with the addition of oils, glues, and colour, for making objects, e.g. tubes and architectural enrichment. Capable of being coloured, and susceptible to a high polish, it was first exhibited at the International Exhibition, South Kensington, London (1862). In the 1890s it was developed as a substitute for plaster cornices, friezes, mouldings, and other decorations in rooms, and was supplied in accurately moulded prefabricated 3-metre (118.11 inches or 9.843 feet) lengths which were then fixed to timber grounds by means of screws. Its extreme light weight made it easy to handle and fix.


Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2004);
W. Papworth (1892)

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Xylonite." A Dictionary of Architecture and Landscape Architecture. . 22 Apr. 2019 <>.

"Xylonite." A Dictionary of Architecture and Landscape Architecture. . (April 22, 2019).

"Xylonite." A Dictionary of Architecture and Landscape Architecture. . Retrieved April 22, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.