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Another Collection of Paint Memorabilia Was Preserved

For over twenty years, I have been collecting (and salvaging) paint memorabilia. Over time, I have gained a reputation as a “custodian” of the industry’s past. Much of the items in my collection were donated to me, sometime days away from being discarded.

Oil, Paint and Drug Reporter, Circa 1871

This past week, I received a call from Tom Whiting, the Managing Director at G.R. O’Shea Company, a distributor and rep of ingredients for the paint industry. James, his dad, had acquired the business in the early 80’s. James had been a member and leader in the Chicago Paint and Coatings Association his whole career. Following his dad’s passing, Tom was looking to downsize the office. Time had come to let go of his dad’s collection of paint memorabilia and industry books. Wanting to make sure his dad’s collection would be preserved, Tom contacted me and said “take everything you want”. So, I did!

Rare Book on Paint Questions

I want to highlight a couple of the items I received from Tom. First, there was a framed reproduction of an 1871, one-page edition of the weekly Oil, Paint and Drug Reporter, which had been republished by The Chemical Marketing Newspaper in 1971. As show in the picture of the top portion of the journal, that issue described the market trends and prices for a variety of oils, ranging from linseed, cottonseed, palm, to a wide array of animal oils like whale, cod, castor etc.

Then, there was a book entitled 1995 Paint Questions answered published in 1919 by The Painters Magazine. Here are a few questions taken at random:
– How do you finish white pine in the “Natural”?
– What is the effect of frost on fresh oil paint?
– What is the effect of sanding the old paint layer for the durability of the next coat?
– What is the best way to kill knots in wood?
– What is the effect of vines on paint?
– How do you do a permanent job of porch floor painting?

I believe that understanding history empowers our future as a person, people and industry. Additionally, much wisdom can be gained from understanding history. Plus I find it fascinating!