Reinforced Plastics – it all started with an elephant

And here it is. On the cover of the very first issue of Reinforced Plastics magazine, which was published in September 1956. 

What's the elephant got to do with Reinforced Plastics? The words to the left of the advert explain:

RP Sept1956 cover“The elephant is a very intelligent animal. It will not, for instance, risk its dignity on a tub that ‘gives’ too much. Why is this 0.5 ton trouper so confident? Twice daily and before a vast audience at Bertram Mills’ Circus, it demonstrated an unshaken faith in fibreglass reinforced plastics. The tub it stands on is made of polyester resin and fibreglass chopped strand mat – reinforced with a rim of fibreglass rovings. Intelligent designers will immediately grasp that you don’t have to be an elephant in order to use FRP with equally spectacular results.”

Although magazine design (and views towards circuses) have changed a lot over the last 50 years, I think this advert gets its message across well, especially since FRP was a very new material at the time.

In this first issue the London-based publisher also set out the magazine’s ‘policy,’ which is interesting reading. More of this next time ...

Amanda Jacob is the (current) Editor of Reinforced Plastics magazine.