Trade catalogs from Pantasote Co,

Date range
Variant company name
Company Established 1891 (see The word "pantasote" is also used to refer to the type of textile that the company manufactured for use in railroad cars. According to the Railway Car Builder's Dictionary (, panasote is: "A variety of surface-coated upholstery material which now might be called “leatherette” or “imitation leather.” It had a unique surface coating that could withstand exposure to gasoline and oils. Thus, it became one of the favored choices of car makers throughout North America. Pantasote offered the standard black surface coating (with at least a few choices of embossing patterns by the mid-teens) as well as brown and two shades of red. The latter three options apparently had limited use, but set the brand apart in this regard. Pantasote seems to have been an exclusive producer of surface-coated double texture prior to 1914. Even with numerous competitors in this construction after 1914, Pantasote maintained a strong position in the car top material field into the 1930’s. The trade name was used generically for surface-coated, double texture toppings."
Company Name
Pantasote Co,
Related companies
Panasote Leather Co. and Homosote Co. ( is best known for manufacturing fiberboard building products, but at the turn of the 20th Century, Homosote merged with Panasote. The website Funding Universe ( explains: "In 1891, Panasote began marketing a leather substitute, created by gluing together two fabrics with Pantasote gum. The surface was further treated with Pantasote and embossed to provide a hide leather finish. The Pantasote name was coined using Greek roots, meaning "to serve all purposes." The product lasted longer than leather, was cheaper to make, and more easily cleaned. It was used to make upholstery and curtains and was waterproofed for the manufacture of tents and awnings. Due to increasing sales of automobiles and a declining number of rail passengers, coupled with increased competition for agasote, Outerbridge looked to new markets. Automobiles also needed waterproof roofs, and starting in 1915 agasote was used in the making of automobile tops for such manufacturers as Buick, Dodge, Ford, Nash, and Studebaker."
New York, New York, United States
Notes content
A pair (duplicate) of circa 1922 illustrated (with photographs) brochures for the "Sote family of Homogenous Waterproof Fiber Boards": Vehisote, Agasote and Steelasote (all of which are guaranteed not to spilt, check or crack.) Vehisote was used for the side panels of truck bodies, auto chassis and railroad cars. Vehisote is also shown as part of the interior of staterooms in ships and boats (the S.S. Hawkeye State and S.S. Pinetree State.)Vehisote is also shown in the interior of a house. Agasote is shown used as the ceiling, lower deck and wainscoating panels of a railroad car in New Jersey. Steelasote is shown used for the roof of an automobile. A circa 1932 brochure for Russialoid upholstery material, a "luxurious artificial leather for boat cushions and chairs." This brochure also mentions the Pantasote artificial leather product (more expensive than Russialoid) and Textasote, a waterproof duck fabric for awnings. The file also contains a circa 1936 sample book (#R-636) containing dozens of Russialoid fabrics, textures and colors. File also contains a stack of 20 circa 1939-1942) Pantasote, Textasote Duck, Novasote, Russialoid, Rumack, Pantex and Dritex fabric samples created to the specifications of the U.S. Army, Air Corps, Navy and Marines. According to the specs, these fabrics (in colors such as olive, khaki, black, beige, tan and brown)were for use as gun and transport covers, airplane surfaces, cockpits, field shelters, air suction ducts, the covers of kapok ring life bouys , tool bags , instrument cases , parachute paks, rportable collapsible air discharge ducts, air suction ducts, lightproof curtains and shades and boat or ship upholstery.
Trade catalog, samples and histories
Types of samples
1. swatches of Russialoid synthetic leather for boat seats and 2. of Pantasote, Textasote and other textiles specified for U.S. military use
Black and white images
Physical description
24 pieces; 1 box
Record ID
Topic (Romaine term)
Architectural designs and building materials
Automobiles and automotive equipment (including trucks and buses)
Aviation (aircraft; balloons; etc.)
Boats and ships (including marine hardware and supplies)
Chemicals and chemical products
Paint; varnishes; adhesives; coatings; etc.
Railroad; streetcar; subway and tramway equipment and supplies
Textiles and textile machinery
Plastics and rubber
"Decoration and ornament, Architectural"
Architectural design
Boats and boating
Building materials
Firearms industry and trade
Marine machinery
Motor vehicles
Paint industry and trade
Plastics industry and trade
Railroad equipment industry
Rubber industry and trade
Textile fabrics
Textile machinery industry
Trade Literature at the American History Museum Library
Smithsonian Libraries Trade Literature Collections
Data source
Smithsonian Libraries