Manufacturer and builder 6, 1871
It is interesting to contemplate how in our time the laborious researches of the scientific are bearing practical fruit. Of no department of science is this more true than of chemistry; there is actually no end in enumerating the applications of the discoveries in this science to the daily wants of man.
We have to-day to record a new application of chemical investigation to an indispensable product used daily and continually in surprising quantities, namely, paint. Mr. D. R. Averill, of Cleveland, Ohio, who has made the study of the chemical constituents of paints a specialty, has succeeded in producing an article equal if not superior to white-lead, and to all the ordinary pigments now in use. Every one who has even a slight knowledge of chemistry and knows that soap consists of oil combined with a base, will at once see that all out oil-paints must in the course of time become soaps, as they contain bot he above ingredients; the base being either white-lead or some metallic oxide, and time perdorming the same process that heat accomplishes rapidly in a soap-boiling establishment. Twelve months' exposure to the atmosphere produces as effective a change in the mixture as twelve hours in the soap-kettle. If the change is not entirely the same as in the manufacture of soap, it is a change, not withstanding, of the nature which chemists call saponification; and this is the whole explanation of the well-known fact that old paints at last wash off, and that most all of them are incapable of withstanding atmospherie influences longer than about one year. The problem to be solved, then, is how to arrest this saponification process, and Mr. Averill claims to have succeeded in doing this by incorporating in the paint an amount of silex, which, at the same time, has the advantage of giving the paint a gloss as if it were varnished. The fact of varnish being a destructible vegetable product, resin or gum, gives this process a decided advantage; as silica being a constituent of glass, a surface is obtained as well glazed as that of stone ware, so that the other ingredients are much more effectually protected than by the ordinary varnishes.
A few practival points of some importance are, that this paint is sold ready for use, and does not require additions of oil, turpentine, etc.; and is supplied mixed in some fifty different shades, according to a sample card, while any other shade can be produced to order. These are specialties which will cause many to give this form of paint the preference above all others, as it tends to save time and disappointment in the mixing, and prevents mistakes in producing a desired shade.
The paint is adapted for wood, iron, stone, tin roofs, etc., and has the peculiar virtue of not running, as it the case with other pigments when a rain-storm comes on a freshly-painted surface. It dries quickly; but notwithstanding, will not become hard in the pots when kept - only a thin skin forming, under which the paint remains fresh.
The inventor claims that it is so well calculated in regar to the proper consistency as to cover more surface than any other paint. About a gallon of ordinary paint is necessary to cover a surface of 10 square yards with two coats for 20 square yards; so that even if the price be slightly higher than that of ordinary paint at the outset, this will have the advantage of being much cheaper in the end. The inventor seems to have met with considerable success; two manufactories being in operation, and depots established in nearly all the principal cities.