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Author Topic: Deutsche Luxfer-Prismen-Gesellschaft product translations  (Read 1097 times)

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Offline ian.macky

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Deutsche Luxfer-Prismen-Gesellschaft product translations
« on: April 25, 2014, 03:09:29 PM »
Hallo all.  I recently bought a 1929 advertisement for Deutsche Luxfer-Prismen-Gesellschaft (from publication Baugilde) which lists some of Luxfer's products, and I am looking for help translating.  Some are obvious, others not:
  • Luxfer-Prismen-Anlagen == prism systems
  • Luxfer-Elektroverglasungen == electroglazing
  • Luxfer-Keller-Oberlichte == basement skylights
  • Luxfer-Plast. Kristalldecken == ? glass floors
  • Luxfer-Glasbeton-Anlagen == glass-concrete systems
  • Luxfer-Gitterfenster == lattice window?
  • Luxfer-Schiffsprismen == deck prisms
In particular, what might abbreviation "Plast." be?  As in "Plast. Kristalldecken"?

And not sure what Gitterfenster might be.

Can anyone shed light on these, and see if they agree with my translations?

Danke!

Offline Wuff

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Re: Deutsche Luxfer-Prismen-Gesellschaft product translations
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2014, 04:31:48 PM »
Hallo all.  I recently bought a 1929 advertisement for Deutsche Luxfer-Prismen-Gesellschaft (from publication Baugilde) which lists some of Luxfer's products, and I am looking for help translating.  Some are obvious, others not:
  • Luxfer-Plast. Kristalldecken == ? glass floors
  • Luxfer-Gitterfenster == lattice window?
In particular, what might abbreviation "Plast." be?  As in "Plast. Kristalldecken"?
It is always difficult to translate technical terms, if you are not familiar with the field in question. This seems to be related to glass as building material - see Anzeiger ... ... which may even require more translations ;).

The prisms were used to bring light into rooms more efficiently - and the Kristalldecken are ceilings (flat roofs) made of prisms. What the "Plast." means, eludes me: plastisch (deformable?) or Plastik (less common these days)?

Lattice window is what I find with translators for Gitterfenster - but then I don't know what a lattice window looks like ;). Gitter could be lattice or mesh or fence or even prison bars. In this context it could be glass plates (with prisms added to one side) with an integrated wire mesh for enhanced strength.

I also wasn't sure what to make of deck prisms - at least I found an image here.

Not sure if this LINK works - a pdf with images of a Kristalldecke and a Gitterfenster: scroll to second page.

On page 34 of this publication in English I find the footnote "»Plastische Luxfer-Kristalldecken sind sehr lichtdurchlässig, wirken aber dennoch ›körperlich und raumbegrenzend‹. Bei künstlicher Beleuchtung wird ein Teil des empfangenen Lichtes durch die gerundeten und prismatischen Flächen zurückgeworfen, wodurch nicht nur die allgemeine Helligkeit vermehrt wird, sondern auch die Decke ein helles, stofflich wirkendes Aussehen erhällt. Infolge der elektrolytischen Fassung sind die Decken feuersicher«, DMA, FS 891/15 (early 20th century; my translation)." for this text:
Quote
Plastic Luxfer crystal ceilings let in a lot of light but still have the effect of »physicality and defining space«. When using artificial lighting, part of the received light is reflected back by the rounded and prismatic surfaces not only increasing overall brightness but also giving the ceiling a bright, tangible appearance. Electrolytic frames make the ceilings fireproof.72
Wolf Seelentag, St.Gallen
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Offline Fuhrman Glass

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Re: Deutsche Luxfer-Prismen-Gesellschaft product translations
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2014, 06:17:05 PM »
Deck prisms were used on ships to get light down to the lower decks before there was electricity and much safer than using coal oil lamps.
The Plastich may refer to the fact that they produced some of these units in curved shapes and were actually formed to different shapes after they were initially pressed. Think bent panels .
Many of these units were used in sidewalks and transferred light to9 the basements that went out under the sidewalks. I was in Copenhagen a few years ago and was amazed that they still had quite a few of these in use. Other cities around the world still have some as well. I've made some reproductions of some for restoration purposes. They were all cemented in iron frames and then the top surface was polished in most instances.

Offline ian.macky

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Re: Deutsche Luxfer-Prismen-Gesellschaft product translations
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2014, 08:37:15 PM »
It is always difficult to translate technical terms, if you are not familiar with the field in question.

Wuff: Definitely.  I spent many tedious hours trying to translate technical cartography terms from one romance language to another (English->French).  I am familiar with the terms, but It's still difficult.  I wish I could afford a set of Illustrated Technical Dictionary in Six Languages: English, German, French, Russian, Italian, Spanish (ca 1910) but alas.

The scan you pointed me to clearly answers what Gitterfenster is: a sash assembled from small pieces.  In the Luxfer case, their famous first product was 4"x4" prism tiles, which were leaded together like stained glass (or later electroglazed as an expensive but fireproof option; which system had a fatal flaw, BTW).

Can you have a look at section IV and see if the text sheds any light?  The image shows a curved (barrel vault) roof for Plastische Luxfer-Kristalldecke.  I've got some Luxfer roof tiles, but they are flat (6" square).  Seems unnecessary to curve the individual pieces when considering the scale of the roof: the curvature is not very much.  Wouldn't small flat pieces work as well?  You can't tell from the image what's going on, other than it's a curved roof.  It also looks to be their decorative leaded glass work rather than the plainer prismatic stuff.  Hmm, the center rondels actually look pretty big.  Wonder if they're curved?  Has anyone every seen a leaded/stained glass window that was curved?

Bruno Taut's Glashaus (Glass Pavilion, 1914) was a showcase for Luxfer products.  It's a complicated curved shape, but seems to be made of all flat pieces.

Hi Fuhrman.  I still cherish the little vault light mould I got from you years ago.  Curving articles after they were moulded is news to me.  Why not just mould them curved to begin with?  Perhaps so the same mould can be used for flat and curved articles both?

Offline Wuff

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Re: Deutsche Luxfer-Prismen-Gesellschaft product translations
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2014, 12:25:29 PM »
Quote
The above mentioned Luxfer electroglazing was later enhanced in its arts aspect, aided by well known building artists. By giving the glass a plastic (three dimensional?) shape it became possible to build crystal ceilings of plastic (three dimensional) appearance for any execution, be it most economic or rich.
These crystal ceilings exhibit a big advantage in the evening, when the room is (artificially) illuminated: unlike traditional painted glass or leaded glass ceilings the do not appear as dead black disc; instead due to the plastic effect they appear live with the light reflecting in the glass; in this way also in the evening the room is limited by a bodily boundary.
I would interpret this that only the appearance is "plastic" due to optical effects, not the glass tiles themselves.
Wolf Seelentag, St.Gallen
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Offline ian.macky

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Re: Deutsche Luxfer-Prismen-Gesellschaft product translations
« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2014, 02:32:26 PM »
I would interpret this that only the appearance is "plastic" due to optical effects, not the glass tiles themselves.

Aha, yes.  wordreference.com gives as the first meaning for plastische as "three-dimensional".  That's unexpected: "plastic" has no such meaning in English.  Only the fifth German definition is  "plastic, workable".

Huh, the second German definition is "graphic, vivid".  The Germans certainly use this word for other purposes!   ???

I just checked my OED: all definitions of "plastic" have to do with a deformable, workable, variable nature, which I agree with -- the word's not used for anything else in English.

 

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