International Association of Bone Glue Manufacturers (Epidos)

International Combines in Modern Industry by Alfred Plummer, 1938.

The International Association of Bone-glue Manufacturers is a good example of international combination in face of a shortage of raw materials. Bones are a waste product, necessarily limited in supply by the volume of consumption of the main products from which they are derived. In the post-war years the demand for bones exceeded the supply. Exports of bones were restricted by many countries, and the supplies from South America, which usually went to Europe, were being diverted to the rising bone-glue industry of the United States. The European bone-glue manufacturers eventually decided that in the circumstances it was desirable that they should discontinue not only their competition in the sale of the finished product, but their intense rivalry in the purchase of the scarce supplies of bones, for by competing they raised the prices of their raw material while they depressed the prices of their finished goods. Therefore, in September, 1926, the majority of the bone-glue manufacturers of Germany, Britain, France, Italy, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Roumania, Poland, Denmark, and Sweden formed an international association to organize and develop the collection of bones, and to ensure a reasonably equitable distribution of this raw material; to collect and circulate to members accurate and up-to-date information regarding sales, consumption, and stocks of bones and glue throughout the world; to assist members temporarily holding large stocks of glue; and to extend the uses of bone-glue and its by-products. The association fixes a general minimum price below which its members are forbidden to sell, but it does not regulate sales or fix the actual prices charged. The Dutch and Lithuanian industries have subsequently joined the combine, and its members now produce 85 to go per cent of the total output of these countries and those mentioned above.

New Uses for Bone Glue - 'Nature' - 06 October 1934.

The results of the competition organised by the International Association of Bone Glue Manufacturers (Epidos), with the object of extending the uses of bone glue, have recently been announced, and the sum of 30,000 Swiss francs has been distributed among thirty competitors representing ten Continental countries; the fact that this is 10,000 francs in excess of the amount to be distributed under the rules of the competition may be taken as an indication of the high standard of the contributions. It is remarkable that few of the winning memoranda refer to what is usually regarded as the obvious and most common use for glue, namely, as an adhesive. They are, indeed, characterised by the diversity of their interests, and include processes in which glue is used as a stabiliser for colloids (for example, in latex preparations, polishes and ceramic products); as a source of nitrogen in the production of yeast; to enhance resistance (for example, of rubber) to oils and spirits; and as a catalyst, for example, to inhibit the action of acid pickle-liquor. There also appears to be a wide range of uses for glue as an ingredient of plastics, moulding and insulating materials and lacquers, and as a dressing for textiles. Full particulars of each process are obtainable from the General Secretariat of Epidos, 40, Rue du Colisee, Paris. International competitions of this kind suggest a novel method of obtaining technical information which doubtless will prove popular with prospective inventors. In the present instance, the experiment certainly appears to have justified itself, since it is announced that a further competition will be organised in the near future.

back to British Glues & Chemicals.