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View Full Version : Anyone know of any historic record of paint brands/manufacturers?


JustAStudent
02-21-2019, 11:48 PM
I've gotten a number of vintage paints lately. Most made in the USA. All sorts of manufacturers and qualities... as well as many examples of paints still around but from various era's, with various addresses on the tubes. I was wondering if there was anywhere I could find information about these companies history, especially where they were and when, in the hopes of getting rough dates on the paints. For instance... I've got two different tubes of Shiva Signature. One is from "Torrance, Calif." the other from "Industry, CA"; does anyone know of a place that might mention when the brand was headquartered in Torrance, and when Industry?

sarahsands
02-22-2019, 03:30 AM
On the Shiva question, a quick search on Google will lead you to Jack Richardson, who currently owns the company:

http://www.richesonart.com/products/paints/richesonoils/richoilsstory.html

I would reach out to them for more info. They mention the brand being sold to new owners in the 60s. My guess is that might coincide with the change in location.

In any case, there is no single book but the internet, for things like this, is a wonderful research tool and I am sure you can uncover most of what you are looking for via searches.

JustAStudent
02-22-2019, 01:51 PM
Thanks, I've sent them an email. Hoping they get back to me. There was apparently an article about the history of Shiva on a wetcanvas newletter many years ago titled "Shiva & The Challenge of tradition", but it's been taken down and I can't find a cached version anywhere.

JCannon
02-22-2019, 02:00 PM
Torrance and Industry are not too terribly far from each other. In 2015, I wrote about a very inexpensive student-grade paint called Pictor (later relabeled The Art Store) which was made in Torrance, by a firm that usually made house paint. This paint was sold in a chain called Standard Brands, which also carried Shiva.

My theory: The original owners of Shiva had a manufacturing arrangement with this same house paint company. They parted ways for whatever reason, and the house paint company decided to make their own oil paints.

By the way, I was told that Pictor was the brand of choice for the guys who made those large reproductions in oil of the latest rock album covers -- the ones you'd see on the walls at Tower Records. Anyone else remember those? The awful 1980 musical "Xanadu" is about one of those painters.

sarahsands
02-22-2019, 10:14 PM
Thanks, I've sent them an email. Hoping they get back to me. There was apparently an article about the history of Shiva on a wetcanvas newletter many years ago titled "Shiva & The Challenge of tradition", but it's been taken down and I can't find a cached version anywhere.

We are just at the start of several days of the largest retailer trade show for art materials - NAMTA - which Richardson will be at, so it would not surprise me if they don't get back to you right away. If you don't hear from them in a week drop another line, or follow-up with a phone call.

JustAStudent
02-22-2019, 10:33 PM
Cool beans. Thanks for the heads up. Have fun at the show.

wyncia
02-23-2019, 02:48 PM
This site is mostly about pigments, but it has brand and historic info, too. I have enjoyed the time I have spent with it. Although, I remembered it under a different name/site.

http://www.artiscreation.com/Color_index_names.html#.XHGikbplCEc