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Factory-Made Paints after 1875


Longman's Paints, Quality since 1852, sign, H.N. Williams General Store, Dorset, Vermont.


An enormous growth of the paint industry began in the 1860s, stimulated by the invention of a suitable marketing container — the paint can.

The first factory-made paints in cans consisted of more finely ground pigments in an oil base; after purchase, additional oil was added to the contents of the can to make up the paint. Such paints saved the time of hand grinding pigments, and were discussed at length by John Masury in his numerous books.

After 1875, factory-made paints were available at a reasonable cost and, as a result, greater numbers of people painted and decorated more of their buildings, and more frequently. The new commercial market created by ready-mixed paint became the cornerstone of our modern paint industry.

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