© Fonds historique / CNRS Photothèque
Rubber door mat, photographed on March 5th, 1924. Studies were thus carried out on flame-resistant materials, including a rubber floor mat developed at the Office’s engineering lab. Early in the 1920s, rubber floor mats had been revealed as particularly combustible, thus emitting toxic fumes. The Office’s chemistry committee, which had already developed a machine to test rubber in 1924, now proposed an alternative by inserting flame-resistant products in the material, making it less susceptible to flames. To lead by example, Breton installed a mat of this type outside his door and presented it at the first Salon de la France d’outre-mer (an exhi¬bition devoted to France’s overseas possessions), held at the Grand Palais at the end of 1935. The photograph of the rubber floor mat presents a human figure and a mat at the doorstep of a house and seems to be implying that even if the house burns down, the mat will resist the flames. Office national des recherches scientifiques et industrielles et des inventions.