CM Times Vintage Newsletters

Conservation Materials Limited was a conservation supply company run by Doug and Dorothy Adams.  This business was important to the development of the conservation profession, and put out several newsletters which are of interest to us today.  I believe every treatment report should have a “rationale” section in it, to explain choices conservators are making.  Sometimes it is necessary to sleuth out those past choices today, for either research or current treatments.  Here are pdf scans of the old CM Times newsletters, which contain both useful information and are still an interesting read today.  I was looking into this company to date some supplies in my lab (see posting called Dating Conservation Supplies) and thought this would be worth sharing too.  Below the pdf scans is a best-guess timeline of the company.   Corrections or additions most welcome.

CM Times 1

CM Times 2

CM Times 3

CM Times 4

CM Times 6

ConsMatLtd June 1991


1978 (spring): Dorothy and Douglas Adams bought Conservation Materials Ltd and moved to Sparks, Nevada where a shipping distribution center was available.  (source: WAAC newsletter profile on the owners 1986)

1980’s: Located at 240 Freeport Blvd Box 2884  in Sparks, NV.  TELEX 377405 Phone  (702) 331-0582 (from what I understand, telex is like a telegraph-based predecessor of the fax machine)

1989 – Early 1990’s: Moved to 1165 Marietta Way  PO Box 2884.  Still in Sparks, NV.   (702) 331-0582 FAX (702) 331-0588

New labels include NEW FAX number which was mentioned in WAAC newsletter in 1989

1993-95?: Located at 1275 Kleppe Lane #10 PO Box 2884 Sparks, NV.  New address mentioned in Sept 1993 WAAC newsletter

1994, May 20: Douglas Adams died in a car accident, Dorothy continued the business.   Many conservators wrote their remembrances of Doug in the WAAC Newsletter Vol 16 No 3 September 1994 page 5.

1996: By now, the business is at 1395 Greg Street Suite #110, Sparks, NV  Phone: (702) 331-0582 FAX (702) 331-0588

1997: Out of business.  Dorothy Adams apparently started a similar business, but sold it in July 1997.


1997:  It seems there was some sort of rough transition between Conservation Materials Ltd and Conservator’s Emporium.  The latter was run by William and Yolanda Foster.  He was a business consultant and she was a chemist.  New address 100 Standing Rock Circle in Reno, NV (Abby Newsletter V 21 #3 Sept 1997)

1999:  Conservation Materials Limited used to make Quake Wax, but rights to the product were acquired in 1999 by Trevco, Makers of Quakehold!  Museum Wax, Clear Museum Gel and Museum Putty.

2004:  Flurry of distlist email rumors about Conservators Emporium being out of business or lagging far behind in their orders.  Owner William Foster writes in July of 2004 to say he has $30,000 in unpaid receivables and the business is struggling.  Sold to MuseuM Services Corporation in 2005.


1968: founded

2005: Peter Mecklenburg of MuseuM Services Corporation announces that it acquired Conservator’s Emporium as of November 1, 2005.  New location is 385 Bridgeport Drive, South St Paul, Minnesota.

2012: Quick check of Museum Services Corporation website on 3/30/2012 still gives their contact info as follows: MUSEUM SERVICES CORPORATION 385 Bridgepoint Way, South Saint Paul, Minnesota 55075 USA Phone: (651)450-8954 Fax: (651)554-9217 E-Mail:


One Response to CM Times Vintage Newsletters

  1. Fran Ritchie says:

    Thanks for taking the time to figure this out, Ellen! We have mold growth on our Conservation Materials Ltd Lascaux 360, but no warning label about it on our new Talas jar. Now I can piece together a timeline for these companies and products (and see that a biocide stabilizer was added at some point).

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