Richard Twichell wrote in 030214 MMDigest:
> Lehman's ... carries mica, the mineral formerly known as
> isinglass, for use in stove windows.
Wait a minute -- "With isinglass windows you can roll right down,
in case there's a change in the weather." ["Surrey With The Fringe
On The Top", from "Oklahoma" by Rodgers & Hammerstein]
Mica doesn't roll as I recall. I thought it was celluloid.
[ Word meanings simply won't remain consistent! Isinglass
[ (sometimes spelled isenglass) can mean gelatin, or it can mean
[ any sheet material which passes light, such as mica or oiled
[ paper or even celluloid.
[ At http://www.glasslinks.com/newsinfo/phoenician.htm :
[ "The use of window glass is generally considered to be a modern
[ invention, and for centuries oiled paper or isinglass (thin
[ sheets of mica) were used to bring sunlight indoors."
[ From my Merriam's dictionaries of 1927 and 1960:
[ isinglass (Probably corrupted from Old Dutch "huizenblas"
[ or "huysenblas", literally, the bladder of the huso, or large
[ 1. A semitransparent, whitish, and very pure form of gelatin,
[ chiefly prepared from the sounds, or air bladders, of sturgeons
[ from the rivers of western Russia. It is used for making jellies,
[ as a clarifier, etc. Cheaper forms of gelatin are often so called.
[ 2. Colloquial: Mica, esp. in thin transparent sheets, as muscovite.
[ I think the use in "Surrey" is improper, and thus the hit song has
[ created the widespread impression that an isinglass window is flexible.
[ The thin mica sheet in an oven window surely isn't! -- Robbie