Wednesday, August 3, 2011

From the Notepad #3: A trio of pocket pads

The very occasional From the Notepad series returns today with three small notepads that were once given away by farm-supply and hardware businesses. They are slim and small -- about 2⅝ inches wide and 5½ inches deep, which is perfect for a shirt pocket or back pocket. One of the pads contains lined pages. The other two pads have graph paper.

1. Longman and Martinez Pure Paints

This undated notepad has the following advertising pitch on the inside front cover:
gallons of any other paint to cover your house, purchase SIX GALLONS OF THE L. & M. PAINT, MIX IT WITH FOUR GALLONS OF PURE LINSEED OIL, and the work will be done better than with pure white lead.1 ADD COST OF L. & M. PAINT AND OIL, and see how cheaply you have bought ten gallons of finest paint obtainable.

The pitch continues on the inside back cover:
from oil barrel, and not in a sealed can with a paint label thereon.

When you buy a thin liquid paint, three-quarters of it, if best quality, is linseed oil for which you pay from $1.50 to $1.75 a gallon.2


It's semi-paste, and you add from ¾ to 1 gallon of linseed oil to every gallon of the paint.


Always use the Longman & Martinez PURE PAINTS."
The back cover of the notepad includes an image (pictured below) of the Longman and Martinez paint can and is specially stamped to indicate that the line of paint products is for sale by Herman Olney of Waverly, New York.

2. Barreled Sunlight from U.S. Gutta Percha Paint Co.

Here's another undated notepad that makes a pitch for paint. This notepad, from the U.S. Gutta Percha Paint Co.3 in Providence, Rhode Island, has this advertising copy on the inside front cover of the notepad:
"Some room in your place of business or at home needs Barreled Sunlight.

Reflects Light
Resists Dirt
Remains White Longest

BARRELED SUNLIGHT is an oil paint made by the 'Rice Process'4 which combines holding of the whiteness, intense opacity and ease of spreading. Write for descriptive literature and sample board showing the BARRELED SUNLIGHT Lustre."
Unlike Longman and Martinez Pure Paints, the U.S. Gutta Percha Paint Co. wants nothing to do with linseed oil in its Barreled Sunlight. The inside back cover of the notepad states:
"Barreled Sunlight-Gloss is for finishing coat for use over previously painted or primed surfaces. Each can should be thoroughly stirred from bottom and used as received. If paint has thickened somewhat add trifle of Turpentine to make it spread freely. Caution -- Use no Linseed Oil for thinning finishing coat."

3. Reading Bone Fertilizers

This notepad for the Reading Bone Fertilizer Company in Reading, Pennsylvania, contains a calendar for the second half of 1936 and all of 1937 on the inside back cover.

Listed on the inside front cover are the company's various brands of bone fertilizers, along with their N-P-K ratios.

The back cover, meanwhile, contains this pitch for Reading Meat Meal:
"Poultry men who are using our Meat Meal declare that it is the best meal for feeding in a dry mash they have ever seen. We manufacture by a new process. The meal is of good sweet odor, is made of fresh stock and is an abundant egg producer. Ask our agent or write us for sample and price, stating what quantity you desire."
Of the three notepads, this is only one that has been written in. On the bottom of the front cover, you can see that someone wrote lightly -- or wrote and then erased -- the words "Rabbit Book." And these words have been written on the last page of the pad:

1. To be clear, Papergreat does not recommend the use of lead paint.
2. These days, a typical gallon of linseed oil would cost somewhere between $21 to $35.
3. Here's an excerpt on the history of U.S. Gutta Percha Paint Company and its building at 8-12 Dudley Street from an appendix of Providence industrial sites prepared in 1981 by the Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission:
"This large, 4-story, brick, pier-and-panel, industrial building with its long, rhythmical facade and widely bracketed cornice, designed by Perry Whipple, is the second site of the United States Gutta Percha Paint Company founded by J. William Rice in 1886 and originally located at Mathewson and West Exchange Streets. Not long after the building was completed a 3-story brick annex for the boiler room was designed by Fontaine and Kennicut. Rice had been active as a paint, chemical, and dye-stuff dealer since 1861. He invented a paint-making process which used Malayan gum-tree resins known as gutta percha. The paint which resulted was an early white latex called 'Barreled Sunlight' that was, according to the company's advertisements, unique in its non-yellowing properties. The U.S. Gutta Percha Paint Company also produced oil-based paints, enamels, and a popular white lead paint called 'Rice's Crown German White Lead.' By 1930 the company had a network of 170 distributors and 7,500 retail dealers as well as a significant export business.

The plant was vacated before 1962 and is now occupied by the CNC Chemical Company which specializes in the manufacture of chemicals for textile- and paper-finishing companies."
4. My guess is that the "Rice Process" is named after company founder J. William Rice and has nothing to do with rice.

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