Monday, August 4, 2008

History of the First Paints

History of the First Paints
These were made from clays and plants ground into powder, then mixed with water. Some were exceptionally good: they’re still around today. Pottery and cave-wall paintings exist which date back to prehistoric times some 50,000 years ago.

The Egyptians probably invented the paint brush. They were also the first to manufacture what to be called paint, some 8,000 years ago. Around 1500 B.C both Crete and Greece produced paints. Somewhere between 400 B.C and 400 A.D the first metallic pigment was develop; The Romans used white lead. But when the Roman Emperor decline, so did the paint technology.

In the Middle Ages, English priest and monks began to use paints on their churches. In the late middle Ages, around 1500 A.D, the artists of Italy developed excellent paints. Some formulations were closely guarded secret – and remain mysteries to this day.

American Indians used paints for both decorative and religious purposes centuries before Europeans began to settle the New World. The Indians, too, found that rocks could be ground into pigment and that the leaves and bark of some trees produced stains. Many paints made in the United States in the late 1700’s and early 1800’s were based on formulas that came from American Indian. As late as the 1860’s many painters carried bags of powder which they mixed into paint as needed. The first liquid, premixed paints were manufactured and sold in this country in 1867.
History of the First Paints
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