I don't know all of the particulars but, what I do remember hearing is that it has actually been around since the '30's or '40's or so. It was invented as an insulator for electrical systems, Like a substitute for the glass insulators they use to use on the poles way back when. I think the name that I have heard associated with this was White-Westinghouse.
Unfortunatly, I don't know anything more specific than that and I don't even know if this info is actually correct or now, but it's a start.
Micarta is a westinghouse trademark or tradename,it was used as insulting matl.,in radios,transformers,etc.,it is also used to make gears out of,as they only require water for lube.Knife handles are probably the smallest quantity use of micarta.Im sure it has many more uses.
These were the main three that had good information on Micarta in the 3 old Forums. Did you know that in Year 1 alone you come up with 192 respones to a search for Micarta? Search in the subject only and you only get 7!
I always seem to screw up these links!!!
[This message has been edited by Andy Wilson (edited 01-28-2001).]
So far here is all I can find: Micarta was invented in 1910(!) by Daniel O'Conor and Herbert Faber, White Westinghouse employees until a few years later, when they left and introduced Formica to the world, in 1913.
I had a M1 helmet liner that was made out of Micarta. It was made in the 1940's, and had a little sticker on the underside stating that it was "another fine product made of Micarta."