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A Binks Paint Sprayer Canister Found Around the Old Store

As Told by Kirk As a result of the need for spray equipment, John Askew Paint Store had a dealership for the Binks Company in the 1940’s.  Devilbis and Binks were probably the most used spray equipment in this area [Raleigh, NC].  These companies also manufactured airbrushes.  The Binks Wren airbrush was popular with taxidermists.  After I had put in art supplies, I started to stock Paasche, Badger, Thayer & Chandler, Devilbis, and Iwata Airbrushes.  For some reason I never connected with Binks for their line of airbrushes.

Kirk Remembers: Benjamin Moore’s Colors in Oil

I found some tubes of Benjamin Moore’s Colors in Oil. The colors available in this line were familiar to artists of the day. They included umbers, siennas, chrome yellow, chrome green, American vermilion, Prussian blue and others. Also included was rose lake. This color could make a deep wine colored mahogany stain like you see on furniture from the twenties and thirties. Benjamin Moore’s Colors in Oil were used to tint oil based house paint colors. Also some furniture refinishers used them to tint nitrocellulose lacquers. At some time along the way, Moore’s decided to drop the colors in oil, but there was still a demand for them by people doing special finishes for walls. The company dropped them from the price list, but if you knew about their existence you could still order them. Sometime in the 1990s the product was finally discontinued. I actually carried some to class and applied them to paintings I was working on. I carried the ½ pt cans into the studio in a 4 gallon paint box. One time when the professor, Ron Taylor, walked by to check on the students’ work he looked at the cans on my taboret. He commented on the fact that the cans of color were rather oily, but that didn’t seem to bother him a lot. The colors mixed well with tubes of artists’ colors. I still have a couple of paintings from that class. The colors and surface of the painting are holding up nicely after fifty years. Until the late 1950s there were no color machines in stores. In fact until the 1950s all the house paints were oil based with the exception of casein paint. There were only the colors referred to as standard color on a color chart. When you wanted a special color for your house you need a skilled person to mix it for you. There was a man that worked for my grandfather for a lot of years, Mr. Jim Doster. I asked Mr. Doster when he started working for my grandfather. He said he thought he came to work with my grandfather in 1921. Sometimes I would be with my grandfather or father when they would be checking the various jobs they had running. I always liked to visit the jobs where Mr. Doster was mixing colors. He would be surrounded by buckets of paints of various colors as well as smaller cans and tubes of tinting colors like Moore’s Colors in Oil. He would talk to me while he worked, making me feel welcome on the job.

Kirk Remembers: “Color as You Like It”

The “Color As You Like It” color matching system was Benjamin Moore’s name for its pre-formulated color mixes. Before the company had a machine to pump the color, which is an interesting story in itself, there was a system that used discrete units and bases. That is, there were various sizes of tubes and cans of colorants. Just like today, there were several bases depending on how deep you wanted your color to be. Of course these bases were available for each type of paint in the system. After the customer picked the color, you had to go to a chart and look up the formula for the type of paint. Then you needed to gather up the various tubes and cans of colorant. Next you had to squeeze tubes and empty cans into the called-for base. You had to take care to empty the containers as completely as possible. Finally, it just remained to put the can in the paint shaker. I only had to mix a couple of gallons this way. At best it was a messy process, and I was happy when we brough in machines that measured the colorants. In 1958 or ’59 one of the sales representatives tried to sell my grandfather a color dispensing machine. Granddad asked if the machine had umber colorants. The salesman said no. My grandfather replied that he didn’t believe he wanted one.