Before putting on his celluloid collar
, he spat on it and smeared it off with the tail of his shirt.
As he walked along the embankment in his black frock coat, swinging his cane high in the air, swaying on his feet like a ship's mast, his celluloid collar yellowed, staring into space through his steel-rimmed glasses, my father became a part of the landscape, as if he had climbed into a picture frame, and he lost his air of mystery totally.
At last, my father is outside the frame of the drama and farce of which he is writer, director, and protagonist all at once; he is now outside all his roles, an ordinary mortal, the famous singer without his voice, without the pathos of his gestures, the genius forgotten in his sleep by his muses and goddesses, a clown without a mask, while his frock coat and his by now famous paraphernalia lie draped over a chair: the stiff celluloid collar, discolored like an old domino, the headwaiter's tie with a bohemian knot.
With his valise (containing clean socks, a clean shirt and a couple of fresh celluloid collars
, along with a comforting bottle of white lightning) in one hand and his sample case (bulging with alcohol-laced tonics and morphine-fortified pills for every ailment known to man and woman) in the other, he walked up the street to the new Reeves Hotel where he got a $2 room.
The apparatus of sweatshops, mansions, pneumatic pipes, celluloid collars
, and so on represented in a book is carefully examined and understood here as relevant to the book's theme.
Earlier, you could get celluloid collars
which wiped clean.
There was a photo exhibit on railroading in Solano County--glowering men in celluloid collars
and stovepipe hats, genteel women with reticules and shawls, quaint trolleys draped in bunting and flags for the Fourth of July.
The second floor as perfectly appointed as the foyer (set with hat-&-cane rack & mirror) stairway rugs & oaken doors, down beds a glass-front bookcase, brown shiny bureaus, drawers crammed with old ties & bloomers, celluloid collars
, some long sleeved underwear, silk & paisley shirts & shawls -- and the stairs to the third floor attic rose five steep steps into a blank wall nicely wallpapered with roses.