Friday, December 12, 2014

Water Fight

The Southeastern Architectural Archive (SEAA) and the Association for Preservation Technology International (APTI) recently completed a mass digitization project. Thanks to financial support from the APTI, nearly 700 of the SEAA's architectural trade catalogs have now been included in the Internet Archive's Building Technology Heritage Library.

The illustration above was used as the cover for the Kuhn Paint Company's promotional manual regarding waterproofing. Harry J. Kuhn managed the Kuhn Paint & Varnish Works, which was based in Houston, Texas. He was a prominent member of the National Paint, Varnish and Lacquer Association's Varnish Manufacturers' Committee. As early as 1921, he sought to enhance his marketing by hiring New Yorker Allen B. Henry as his advertising and sales promotion manager.

After World War II, Kuhn distributed an important pamphlet written by Lonore Kent (1907-1993), who also penned Paint Power and How to Sell It and From the World's Four Corners for the National Paint, Varnish and Lacquer Association. Kent's How to Win Your War Against Water itemized the need to establish good household ventilation and "vapor barriers."

You may wonder about representing moisture and paint in a bellicose relationship.

For more about the relevant history of building science, see Dr. Allison Bailes III's "Why Did Painters Refuse to Paint Insulated Houses in the 1930s?" Energy Vanguard Blog. 18 November 2013.

Image above: Lonore Kent. How to Win Your War Against Water. National Paint, Varnish and Lacquer Association, undated. Architectural Trade Catalogs, Southeastern Architectural Archive, Special Collections Division, Tulane University Libraries.

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