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Pythagoras Boyd recipe book for dyes and dyeing


Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts [Contact Us]3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6206

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Overview and metadata sections

Boyd was one of three children born to John and Ellen Bentley Boyd in Clitheroe, Lancashire, England. John Boyd was a color printer. In 1861 Pythagoras worked as a color mixer at a calico print shop, probably Primrose Mill also known as Primrose Works in Clitheroe. In 1877 Boyd along with his wife, children, and his mother, immigrated to North Adams, Massachusetts. In Massachusetts Pythagoras became an analytical chemist in the textile industry working in colored dyes and dyeing. He eventually became manager at Arnold Print Works in North Adams working in printed cloth and calico. In 1872 Boyd married Ann Foster in Lancashire England. The couple had seven children. Boyd became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1887.

A parchment covered volume with a brass, clasp closure, and ruled pages is comprised of formulas for dyes and dyeing textiles. The recipes were written by print works chemist Pythagoras Boyd spanning the years from around 1860 to 1865. The volume is enumerated from pages 1 to 471. Boyd recorded formulas of dyes for a multitude of colors and their numerous variants used in calico and textile printing. In addition to colors chemical formulas and solutions for processes in dyeing and types fabrics have also been included. Processes in dying include blotching, padding, rainbow, and setting. Fabrics are also noted along with formulas including, delaine, flannel, and wool. Some dye colors have the notation Primrose followed by a year. This notation probably referred to the Primrose Mill in Clitheroe. Combined recipes throughout the volume have page number notations. These page numbers refer to other recipes within the volume. Written on the flyleaf: P. Boyd, Clitheroe. The name John Bracewell is printed in pencil on the flyleaf. Two leaves laid in the volume: one a small list of page references, two a list chemical items and cost. Pages 314 to 471 are blank.

Sold by Michael Brown Rare Books (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), 2018.

University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Finding Aid Author
Donna Brandolisio
Finding Aid Date
June 2018
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Pythagoras Boyd recipe book for dyes and dyeing, circa 1860-1865.
Volume 1

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