Science: Sow's Ear Silk

Lately Germany announced that it could make silk for a lady's stocking out of the lobster shells left from her supper party (TIME, Dec. 6). Last week Engineer Kurt Gerson of Berlin went further. He said he could make silk purses out of sows' ears, boars' ankles," potato peelings, toothpicks and all manner of garbage. In a large factory now being constructed under his specifications, kitchen refuse will be sifted for the cellulose ingredients of artificial silk or, if desired, gun cotton. The remaining refuse will be distilled for tar, charcoal, acetic acid.

Economists recalled that, before the invention and commercial success...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!