General Electric Air Wall Register

Hello,
I am about to reinstall an old General Electric "Air Wall" register. On the back side, there is a strip of metal running around the inside of the perimeter of the register. It is about 1/4" from the edge of the register and is attached by what appears to be two heavy duty staples at the bottom and caulk between the strip and the register. The caulk is crumbling and missing in places.
Is that caulk that I am actually seeing, what is its purpose, and can I dig out the old stuff and replace it with new acrylic or silicone caulk? The register matches those in the rest of the house so I would rather not replace it. I understand that the design dates back to the 1950s. My house was built in the 1960s.
Thanks in Advance.
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responding to http://www.homeownershub.com/maintenance/General-Electric-Air-Wall-Register-342019-.htm Kathy2756 wrote:
Baron wrote:

I think I have the same kind as you. I don't have the staples but mine has weather stripping around it. I am going to try and paint my registers in stead of replacing them. I am not sure you can find them anyway.
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Kathy2756 wrote:

http://www.homeownershub.com/maintenance/General-Electric-Air-Wall-Register-342019-.htm

Apparently not. The latest idiot from homeowners hub responding to a thread that is over 2 years old.
And you are not responding to a homeowners hub thread. The thread is from a usenet newsgroup - alt.home.repair. Maybe you could find out what usenet is.
Homeowners' hub is a parasite that steals our work. It doesn't even attribute the source.
If you don't want to figure out usenet, I suggest using google-groups.
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