Batima – Joseph Girlot & later: Nazaire Beeusaert

Invented by Belgium Joseph Girlot and patented in June 1923. Batima seems to be manufactured in Brussels, unsure during what time frame.

Then Batima is reissued by the Belgium manufacturer Nazaire Beeusaert, in Deinze, Belgium, from 1954~1959.

Other sources:

Batima – first series:

These Batima stones are made of the early plastic “Galiath”. An invention of the Belgian Louis Cousin, he had applied for a patent in 1923 for Belgium and 1924 for France. In 1954 the Beeusaert company took over the manufacture of the Batima kits and manufactured them until 1959, after which production was discontinued.” (Source 1)

Batiam – second series:

“In 1954 the toy manufacturer Nazaire Beeusaert presented something revolutionary: batima building bricks. They were wooden building bricks with studs at the top and tubes at the bottom so that the bricks could be connected to one another.

The bricks were short-lived. After all, the plastic Lego bricks entered the Belgian market in 1958. Unlike the batima bricks, they were unbreakable, water-resistant and colourful.” (Source 2)

Source (1):
Source (2):
Interesting collection (3): speelvogel
History: Nazaire Beeusaert

Patents Batima, by Joseph Girlot

GB217243A, prior art: 1923:

GB263865A, prior art: 1925:

FR626926A, prior art: 1926:

Some different boxes

Different boxes from collection Speelvogel (source 3)

There are also wooden boxes. In ‘later’ series, also grey bricks exists. There are also some other window & door textures found.

Batima Box number 2

This box nr. 2 seems to be quite complete, there is hardly any room for more bricks. It came also with 2 albums: one for set 1 & 2 and one for 3 to 7.

In total there are 202 bricks, some wooden sills, for sticking in some cardboard pictures for windows & doors.


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Brick production – Galiath

“We owe the creation of the casein plastic “Galiath” to the Bavarian chemist Adolf Spitteler and the researcher Ernst Krische. According to legend, the creation of the new plastic was an accident: in the chemist’s laboratory, a cat is said to have knocked over a bottle of formaldehyde into a bowl of milk, which then coagulated into a horn-like compound. In a complex procedure, they treated the casein from milk serum with formaldehyde and obtained a malleable mass with the properties of a duroplastic. This casein plastic therefore had to either be shaped before it hardened or turned and polished afterwards. The latter, however, was made more difficult by the fact that it splintered easily. On the other hand, it was very hard and had a shiny surface.” (Source: 2)

Some system characteristics

Here a short list of some system characteristics and how it’s retrofitted into the virtual LeoCAD library:

Part types:Original:Virtual:
Single color pieces
Thickness: 2.5 [mm]
Bay size~half inch12 [mm]
LeoCAD settings:
Draw line every X studs
Snap XY1 [mm] 1/20 stud
Snap Z1 [mm] 1/20 stud
Rotations90 [deg]

Library information

Here an overview of the parts library:

Building in LeoCAD