Re: Flat Black

Dennis Storzek
 

On Wed, Feb 13, 2019 at 07:13 PM, Tim O'Connor wrote:
On the other hand, this tank car photo - GRCX 3200 - appears to be a black car that has been oversprayed
with something to make all the details visible. (see attached)

Therefore, I submit there was more than one technique in use!
I agree. The "whitewashed" cars were likely done with calcimine (google it) a water based mixture of slaked lime and powdered chalk that could be applied with a brush. I suspect adding lampblack to calcimine would result in a "gray wash" or even "black wash" if enough were added. Typical spotting feature of calcimine (at least in old houses) is a flat, chalky appearance, and the fact that painting over it with anything containing water makes it come off; as would a good wash. Yeah, it's extra work, but in the early days of the twentieth century labor was cheap and photography was not, so if it was worth taking photos for promotional purposes, it was worth taking photos that showed the detail.

Dennis Storzek

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