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Reference \ Paint and Color

Introduction | General Theory and Practice | Manufacturer Samples | Reference Material | Photography | Contemporary References

Historical Reference Books.


These books cover general structural paint suggestions, theories and practices. The architecture of railroad structures followed the conventions and styles period in which they were built.


Every man his own house painter & paper hanger.
Containing plain pracitical directions for house painting and paper hanging. By Thomas Smith. 1866.

The Painter's Manual
The Painter's Manual 1868

How Shall We Paint Our Houses!
A popular treatise on the art of house painting John Masury 1868 (Archive)


Every man his own painter! OR Paints--How To Select And Use Them
A plain treatise on Homestead, Villa & Cottage Painting, Containing Information Valuable To The Household And Practical Painter. By Harry Carey Baird. 1872.
Contains color samples of Harrison Bros. & Co. "Town and Country" Ready Prepared Paints with tips on color selection.

Masury's Liquid Paints 1877. 6.8MB
From The Library of Congress.

Roof and Side-Wall Painting with Full Instruction.
Maurice Langhorne. 1879. Primarily covers topics relating to roofs.

Rousseau's House and Decorative Painter.
P. J. Rousseau. 1871. (Pg 27, Railroad Paints and Colors)


Hints Hints for painters, decorators, and paper-hangers.
Being a selection of useful rules, data, memoranda, methods, and suggestions for house, ship and furniture painting, paper-hanging, gilding, color mixing, and other matters useful and instructive to painters and decorators. Prepared with special reference to the wants of amateurs By Charles D. Bell. 1882.
From Archive.Org

House Painting
Sherwin Williams. 1883. From Archive.Org

The Painters' Encyclopedia by Franklin B. Gardner.
Published by M. T. Richardson, New York, 1887.


"Elastic" Mineral Paints.
B. F. Ruth & Co., 1890.

Picre mineral paint ready for use.
Picre Paint and Color Works, circa 1890.

The House and Sign Painters' Recipe book.
W. C. Warren, 1890.

Suggestions For Exterior Decoration
Samples and Suggestions from the H.W. Johns M'F'G Co., supplier of liquid paints. 1893.
Contains color samples illustrating three color styling for houses and structures, and excellent resource for modelers!

The rusting of iron and steel: how it may be prevented and how it is promoted.
The Prince Manufacturing Company, 1895.
Discusses the benefits of Prince Bros. Mineral Brown, also known as Princes' Metallic Paint.

Church's Improved Alabastine Alabastine Company, Grand Rapids Michigan.


Everybody's paint book; a complete guide to the art of outdoor and indoor painting.
Designed for the special use of those who wish to do their own work, and consisting of practical lessons in plain painting, varnishing, polishing, staining, paper-hanging, kalsomining, etc.
ByGardner, F. B. 1902.
From Archive.Org

Seroro Paints manufactured Sears, Roebuck & Co. 1900.
Includes color plates

Specifications for the painter; a practical handbook for architects and house painters.
Harrison Bros. & Co., Inc. 1903.

The Sherwin-Williams Paint.
Sherwin-Williams Company. 1901.

Painting and decorating
By Walter Pearce. 1907. From Archive.Org

House Painting, Glazing... A book for the householder. 1908

The Owner's House Book.
Devoted to the subject of Artistic Decoration and Color Harmony in House Painting. Poole. 1906
Includes guidelines for color use including White Trim use (White is suggested ONLY as trim in this book).

Painting and Decorating, Pearce, Walter. 1902.
Painting and Decorating, Pearce, Walter. 1907.
Includes color plates. Wonderful illustrations and stencil templates.


Interior Painting A series of practical treatises on.
1910 (Google)(archive)

The Preservation of the Exterior of Wooden Buildings.
The Institute of Industrial Research. 1911. (Archive)Period technical Info on Color and how it holds up to age

Estimates, Costs & Profits, exterior painting...
F.N. Vanderwalker. Published by the Carter White Lead Co. Chicago, Ill. 1916.

House Painting..... 1918


The Partnership Of Paint by John W Masury The partnership of paint (1920)


Cementhide. Pittsburg Plate Glass Company. 1940.

Flat Wall Paint. Pittsburg Plate Glass Company. 1940.

Floor Paint. Pittsburg Plate Glass Company. 1940.

Semi Gloss Paint. Pittsburg Plate Glass Company. 1940.

Barn and Roof Paint. Pittsburg Plate Glass Company. 1940.

Waterspar Enamel. Pittsburg Plate Glass Company. 1940.

Carriage, Wagons, Lettering, and Ornamental Work

Treatise on Carriage, Sign, and Ornamental Painting
Fritz Schriber. 1841

Haney's manual of sign, carriage, and decorative painting.
S. Gibson. 1870
From Archive.Org

The Murphy A, B, C, system of carriage painting.
By the Murphy Varnish Co. 1878, c1911.
From Archive.Org

House-painting, Carriage-painting, and Graining: What to do, and how to do it?
By John W. Masury. 1881
From Google.Books

Painting and painters' materials; a book of facts for painters and those who use or deal in paint materials.
Publisher: New-York, Railroad Gazette. 1883
From Archive.Org

Practical Carriage and Wagon Painting : A treatise on the painting of carriages, wagons and sleighs, embracing full and explicit directions for executing all kinds of work : including painting factory work, lettering, scrolling, ornamenting, varnishing, etc. : with many tested recipes and formulas.
Orson Campbell. 1903. From Archive.Org

Carriage Painting : A series of practical treatises on the painting of carriages and wagons.
Frederick Maire. c1911. From Archive.Org

Signage and Lettering Specific Works

The Sign Painter.
Pullman School of Lettering, Chicago. 1916. From Archive.Org

Bridge, Trestle, Docks, and Other Structures

Coatings Including: Creosote, Oils, Tars, and other wood treatments.

Preservative Coatings. Standard Paint Company, 1918.

Introduction | General Theory and Practice | Manufacturer Samples | Reference Material | Photography | Contemporary References

A note to you, the visitor: Contact us on the Forum if you would like to contribute appropriate period documentation on specific equipment, roads, etc. We would like to include anything relevant, PacificNG is a community project and sharing is always welcome. In addition, contact us if you find dead links! We will fix them or find substitutes.

Revised: March 21, 2017.
Reference \ Paint and Color
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