Updated: Jan 11

In 1936 my grandfather Jack Lipton would have been working 72-hours a week behind the counter at Tremont Paint.

The second of four-generations of Lipton’s to sling paint in the Bronx Jack taught my father Billy the blue of heard work.

Making it my father's fault that I never lived up to my grandfather's standard.

The paint on the shelves of Jack’s Tremont Paint bore little resemblance to the ready-made products if today’s paint stores. Most interior wall coatings at the time we’re closer to a science experiment than made from the science of coatings. A hand-blended concoction of lead, paint thinner, pigments and drying agents mixed by professional painters.

The customer often standing over the painter’s shoulder as the artisan-painter added the pigment.

“Can you make it a bit greener?”

But by 1936, coatings science was starting to change.

Benjamin Moore was amongst the first paint companies to manufacturer and market ready-made paints. In 1892 THE company introduced Muresco, a ready-made interior wall paint. At that time, a significant achievement in coatings chemistry.

The company retains the name Muresco on a premium ceiling paint in their current product line, paying homage to the accomplishment.

By 1936 Moore’s “Sani-Flat” gave painters a premium quality ready-made alternative which came out of the can ready to paint on most all interior surfaces.

No more mixing the lead, paint thinner, pigments and dryers, saving painters valuable time on the job.

For the convenience of having the product ready-made, painters paid $1.70 per gallon ($33.46 adjusted for inflation)