🔎 UNIDENTIFIED Old 1920 State Life insurance plastic calendar card?

Casey13

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Sep 17, 2021
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Hi everyone!
I went out detecting after work this evening at an early 1900's homesite. After about 5 minutes while digging this white piece of plastic showed up in the hole and I thought it was modern trash. After picking it up and rubbing it I saw a calendar of months and the year 1920. I didn't even know that they made plastic cards back then lol. When I got home and washed it with water it had more on the back. Couldn't find much info on it.
Thanks for looking!
 

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crashbandicoot

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Hi everyone!
I went out detecting after work this evening at an early 1900's homesite. After about 5 minutes while digging this white piece of plastic showed up in the hole and I thought it was modern trash. After picking it up and rubbing it I saw a calendar of months and the year 1920. I didn't even know that they made plastic cards back then lol. When I got home and washed it with water it had more on the back. Couldn't find much info on it.
Thanks for looking!
Cool!:icon_thumleft:
 
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pganjon

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Nov 6, 2008
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Hi everyone!
I went out detecting after work this evening at an early 1900's homesite. After about 5 minutes while digging this white piece of plastic showed up in the hole and I thought it was modern trash. After picking it up and rubbing it I saw a calendar of months and the year 1920. I didn't even know that they made plastic cards back then lol. When I got home and washed it with water it had more on the back. Couldn't find much info on it.
Thanks for looking!
Cool find, just a word of caution if you try to flatten it out. I did a very stupid thing once with an old plastic card like that from the 50's. I took a lighter and held the flame at a distance to warm the plastic, (I was then going to put it under something flat and leave it to straighten it), it must have been highly flammable as it burst into flames like it was soaked in gas! I barely let go of it in time to keep the melted plastic from burning my fingers. Paul :coffee2:
 
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Casey13

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Cool find, just a word of caution if you try to flatten it out. I did a very stupid thing once with an old plastic card like that from the 50's. I took a lighter and held the flame at a distance to warm the plastic, (I was then going to put it under something flat and leave it to straighten it), it must have been highly flammable as it burst into flames like it was soaked in gas! I barely let go of it in time to keep the melted plastic from burning my fingers. Paul :coffee2:
Thank you!! Man, I would have probably done the same thing lol. I was actually thinking of just putting it under a book or something to straighten it out but instead I just slipped it into one of my collector card plastic protectors.
 
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boogeyman

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Unique find, congratulations.
If you reeaally want to flatten it, try this tip we used to flatten LP records. We put them on a piece of marble and set it outside in the sun & keep checking till it's flat. Be patient don't try to hurry it along.
 
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crashbandicoot

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Cool find, just a word of caution if you try to flatten it out. I did a very stupid thing once with an old plastic card like that from the 50's. I took a lighter and held the flame at a distance to warm the plastic, (I was then going to put it under something flat and leave it to straighten it), it must have been highly flammable as it burst into flames like it was soaked in gas! I barely let go of it in time to keep the melted plastic from burning my fingers. Paul :coffee2:
A lot of older plastic is composed of cellulose,not really plastic but plastic appearing.Highly flammable!
 
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Casey13

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If you reeaally want to flatten it, try this tip we used to flatten LP records. We put them on a piece of marble and set it outside in the sun & keep checking till it's flat. Be patient don't try to hurry it along.
Thank you so much! For now I'm just going to leave it as is but I will keep that trick in mind for the future.
 
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vpnavy

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Jun 15, 2008
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I searched Google and found references to the State Life Insurance of Indianapolis. Apparently it is now part of the OneAmerica Financial Partners, Inc. (WebSite: OneAmerica Financial Partners).

I would contact them and see if they can't help "date" the card. It is a long shot but what the heck!

I did find a "check" on EBay to the company.


insurance.jpg
 
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Red-Coat

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A lot of older plastic is composed of cellulose,not really plastic but plastic appearing.Highly flammable!

Thank you!! I believe you because I was surprised that they were making things like this over a hundred years ago lol

Cool find.

There were lots of early ‘plastics’, of which the most widely used was “celluloid” and its variants, first produced in 1855 but not widely commercialised until the 1900s. Generally, it was made from a mixture of nitrocellulose (aka “guncotton”!) and camphor. Its major disadvantage was that it would explode into flame when exposed to temperatures above about 150 Celsius (300 Fahrenheit). Nevertheless, it saw major use as the stock for commercial cine film and there were numerous fires in early picture palaces caused by the film jamming in the gate such that the projector beam took it above its flash point. Acetate film, which replaced it in the 1950s, was known as “safety film” for a reason.
 
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crashbandicoot

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Cool find.

There were lots of early ‘plastics’, of which the most widely used was “celluloid” and its variants, first produced in 1855 but not widely commercialised until the 1900s. Generally, it was made from a mixture of nitrocellulose (aka “guncotton”!) and camphor. Its major disadvantage was that it would explode into flame when exposed to temperatures above about 150 Celsius (300 Fahrenheit). Nevertheless, it saw major use as the stock for commercial cine film and there were numerous fires in early picture palaces caused by the film jamming in the gate such that the projector beam took it above its flash point. Acetate film, which replaced it in the 1950s, was known as “safety film” for a reason.
I left off the "nitro" part.:icon_thumleft:
:thumb_down:
 
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Casey13

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I searched Google and found references to the State Life Insurance of Indianapolis. Apparently it is now part of the OneAmerica Financial Partners, Inc. (WebSite: OneAmerica Financial Partners).

I would contact them and see if they can't help "date" the card. It is a long shot but what the heck!

I did find a "check" on EBay to the company.


Thank you vpnavy!! I might give that a try. Can't believe they are still in business all these years lol.
 
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Casey13

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Cool find.

There were lots of early ‘plastics’, of which the most widely used was “celluloid” and its variants, first produced in 1855 but not widely commercialised until the 1900s. Generally, it was made from a mixture of nitrocellulose (aka “guncotton”!) and camphor. Its major disadvantage was that it would explode into flame when exposed to temperatures above about 150 Celsius (300 Fahrenheit). Nevertheless, it saw major use as the stock for commercial cine film and there were numerous fires in early picture palaces caused by the film jamming in the gate such that the projector beam took it above its flash point. Acetate film, which replaced it in the 1950s, was known as “safety film” for a reason.
That's makes sense. That's what crashbandicoot was saying earlier too. I didn't know that but could tell it felt weird like I wasn't sure if it was plastic or some type of vinyl. Thank you so much for always finding all this information on these things!!
 
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Casey13

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Hi everyone!
A few days ago I started digging an area of broken bottles and trash while detecting this early 1900s property and found more of these cards. They maybe must have worked for this company 🤔. Thanks for looking!
 

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