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Author Topic: frame house colors of the 50s  (Read 8145 times)
GlennW

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« Reply #15 on: March 29, 2009, 03:21:08 PM »

I doubt if the houses were "white white" but some shade of grey.  I suspect the color had a lot to do with the ability to "hide the dirt".  an older house needing some attention could have peeling paint, especially on the sunny side of the house.

I'm not sure when the water based acrylics became popular. Most likely the paint came in a basic near white color to which you could add a tint of another color.

In a block of houses, you can be sure that the trim would be different from green to brown, black, blue, etc.
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Stephen D. Richards

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« Reply #16 on: March 29, 2009, 05:40:20 PM »

Rangerover, you stated you live in Elkins?  Where at, I too live in/around Elkins.  I've worked here for 17 years.  I grew up in Harrison County and lived in Pendleton County for over 16 years.       Stephen
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Rangerover

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« Reply #17 on: March 30, 2009, 09:36:37 AM »

Rangerover, you stated you live in Elkins?  Where at, I too live in/around Elkins.  I've worked here for 17 years.  I grew up in Harrison County and lived in Pendleton County for over 16 years.       Stephen


I live on North Randolph Ave/Rt 219. The main road going into Elkins just off Rt. 33, the DOH yard and office is right next door. Couple more weeks and the Shays will be running back in the yard here in Elkins. Will post those pictures as soon as they roll in. I'll know when they are here, when they blow that extinctive whistle. I live 5 minutes away from the train station.

I visited here in Elkins, some 45 (1963-64) years ago when I was in the Army at Ft Knox, I was cadre at USATCA. A couple of my NCO buddy's brought me "home" with them on weekend pass's and we came to Elkins. I'll never forget when we got of the car in the train yard and I looked around at the yard with the roundhouse and turntable, and it was busy with coal cars and lumber cars, passenger cars. I looked at these mountains and said this is where I want to live. The folks here are as great now as they were back then, reminded me of the 50's-60's back home in NJ.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2009, 10:17:16 AM by Rangerover » Logged
Rangerover

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« Reply #18 on: March 30, 2009, 10:01:31 AM »

I doubt if the houses were "white white" but some shade of grey.  I suspect the color had a lot to do with the ability to "hide the dirt".  an older house needing some attention could have peeling paint, especially on the sunny side of the house.

I'm not sure when the water based acrylics became popular. Most likely the paint came in a basic near white color to which you could add a tint of another color.

In a block of houses, you can be sure that the trim would be different from green to brown, black, blue, etc.

Not to argue with anybody, but no, white was white back then and still is today, bright white. I'm 65 and my dad was a house painter, sign painter and paper hanger. Everything until 1960 was oil base paint with lead I might add, even flat colors for inside on walls, but most folks used semi gloss on walls and ceilings, it was easy to clean and still is. Water base house paints didn't catch on until the mid to late 60's.

The house I'm thinking about is the old Revell/Heljin/Con-Cor farm house kit, with house, shed, chicken coop, and outhouse.  The house itself is obviously wood plank.  The one reason for painting it something other than white is that what's called for - protect it from being the same color as every other kit of its type.   I guess it would be possible to cover the walls with shingles or something like that, but that's more than I want to do. 
I need to find a barn for it - but I think I know where that'll come from.
Gene

Gene I have that same kit I put together 40 years ago, everything is still there even the chickens for the hen house, even the outhouse. But I left it the original white. If you take a ride out any place rural farm area's the farm houses and buildings, excluding the barn's, silo's, and pig pen's are practically all white, of course weathering with a light gray or even green on the north side for mildew or moss nearer the bottom of the siding, common in wet area's, brown in fact on the very bottom for rain splash. And most of the gutters and down spouts were painted green. The gutters on some of the older farm houses were built in or "yankee gutters" as they were referred to. Most also had slate roof's, dark gray. And some even here in West Virginia and I know in upstate New York and Vermont had and still have metal, tin roofs. I lived in one such here and it was tin painted red.

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SteamGene

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« Reply #19 on: March 30, 2009, 10:21:24 AM »

Rangerover,
I know that most were white.  I'm just looking for a bit of authentic variety.   Cheesy   After talking to my wife, who grew up in the Shenandoah Valley, I'm thinking of a light brown/beige.  I've got the old Bachmann Sears kit house, which is blue, and I'm going to paint it white and use it for the mine superintendant's house in Hannahville.  I'm probably also going to move the Classics Railroad Street company houses that I've updated back down to Nicksburg, and replace them with another set, either without the shed or with the shed all in the same place and all painted white - still company houses. 
Gene
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Chief Brass Hat
Virginia Tidewater and Piedmont Railroad
"Only coal fired steam locomotives"
boomertom
Clinchfield/C&O modeler


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« Reply #20 on: March 30, 2009, 10:45:56 AM »

Gene,

Diging into the memory banks of a 1945 vintage "old timer" the follolw is what I remember about my hometown.

The block I grew up on in Covington, Virginia had a total of nine houses on it. Three were brick;three were wood frame painted white with dark trim;one was gray with greenj trim, one was yellow with brown trim and the ninth was stucco.

We were located three blocks from the West Virginia Pulp & Paper Company -WESTVACO- mill and the same distance from the mainline so there was a lot of soot in the air to settle on houses so the choice of white may have looked more like a dingy white.

Most of the farm houses in Alleghany County were white, althoug barns tended to be red

After about 1957, newer houses sprang up as farms egan to be subdivided and a rainbow of colors began, although brick veneer was an extremly popular choice..

Thanks for the question, it is fun to think back to that simpler time.

Tom
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Tom Blair (TJBJRVT68)
Woody Elmore

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« Reply #21 on: March 30, 2009, 01:21:47 PM »

My grandparents in South Carolina raised thousands of chickens and the chicken house was not painted. It had a corrugated tin roof and the wood was weathered to a grey color.

As for houses, the original Levitt Houses were available in colors.

Traditional New England colors were white with black trim.

An art teacher I once worked with did a painting with all white items on a table. There was a white tablecloth, eggs, a porcelain pitcher and a big serving plate. They were all white in color but yet different. All white houses on a layout need not be the same white color.
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Atlantic Central

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« Reply #22 on: March 30, 2009, 02:21:51 PM »

And now the rest of the story (short version):

1840-1865 Greek Revival - most houses and buildings white or brick

1865-1901 Victorian era - made up of at least 11 different architectural styles - popular architects, designers and home fashion editors did all they could to eliminate white from the landscape. By 1890 VERY FEW houses were white. Earth tones and greens most popular.

1901-1938 Craftsman and Colonial Revival compete neck and neck as most popular style. White mainly a trim color for dark or bright body colors. Style elements from both, and earlier Queen Anne style applied to many "vanacular" buildings - like farm houses and American Four Square.

1929 Stock market crashes - world enters depression. Even if you had money it was thought unseemly to paint your house in the flashly color schemes of the Victorian, Craftsman and Colonial Revival styles - White returns as dominate color.

1948 War over, economy rebounds, new simpler styles emerge and "color" schemes return - most revived from the past three styles. Many people still choose white.

Sheldon
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SteamGene

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« Reply #23 on: March 30, 2009, 03:51:18 PM »

Thanks Sheldon - an architect should know.  I tried an internet search for "historic house colors" and apparently couldn't get the search parameters correct - nothing of interest for exteriors. 
I think tan will do it for the farm house and then white for the super's house and a new company house row in white - weathered in soot. 
Gene
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Chief Brass Hat
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Atlantic Central

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« Reply #24 on: March 30, 2009, 04:11:25 PM »

Gene,

I wouldn't know where to find anything like that on the web, I have all these old fashioned things called books in my office with all this information.

But as I said, Sherwin Williams and the like will have some "historic" color brochures in their showrooms.

Tan sounds good. You could use dark brown or forest green for the trim.

Sheldon
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SteamGene

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« Reply #25 on: March 30, 2009, 08:38:47 PM »

I use both. <g>
There is no Sherwin Williams store close by, but I'm going to go with the tan.  Green trim sounds good.
Gene
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Chief Brass Hat
Virginia Tidewater and Piedmont Railroad
"Only coal fired steam locomotives"
Stephen D. Richards

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« Reply #26 on: March 30, 2009, 09:25:29 PM »

Rangerover
           I probably know exactly where you live.  I'm sure you have seen me around in various places before.  It's a shame I won't be here for the trains this year.  Had a blast last year.  Do you live down Ervin Lane or on US 219 proper?  Should be pretty close to Highland Park.  I work for the City Police.  Be interested in talking with you.  I will be leaving for Reserve duty again next Sunday for about six weeks this time.  Short tour!

Gene,
     sounds like a plan.  On the farm in the hollow I grew up in, we didn't paint the "out" buildings.  Only those that had more money than we did!  lol  But even they painted with what they could get or had on hand.  I spent the late 50's, all the 60's and early 70's growing up there but we just didn't have alot.  Still wouldn't trade it for anything though.  Still want to get down there and visit.  Would love to see your layout in person. I'm still working on locomotives, rolling stock and track.  I have a few buildings that I have just started to build, when I have the time that is!     Stephen
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Rangerover

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« Reply #27 on: March 30, 2009, 09:48:39 PM »

Y
Rangerover
           I probably know exactly where you live.  I'm sure you have seen me around in various places before.  It's a shame I won't be here for the trains this year.  Had a blast last year.  Do you live down Ervin Lane or on US 219 proper?  Should be pretty close to Highland Park.  I work for the City Police.  Be interested in talking with you.  I will be leaving for Reserve duty again next Sunday for about six weeks this time.  Short tour!

Gene,
     sounds like a plan.  On the farm in the hollow I grew up in, we didn't paint the "out" buildings.  Only those that had more money than we did!  lol  But even they painted with what they could get or had on hand.  I spent the late 50's, all the 60's and early 70's growing up there but we just didn't have alot.  Still wouldn't trade it for anything though.  Still want to get down there and visit.  Would love to see your layout in person. I'm still working on locomotives, rolling stock and track.  I have a few buildings that I have just started to build, when I have the time that is!     Stephen

Yeah Stephen I live right on 219 across from the entrance to Highland Park, the old Phillips house. We've no doubt crossed paths possibly when I pay my water bill.  I too have worked with police, state police and various county sheriffs depts, (police combat courses, retired now though) but not Elkins PD.
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Stephen D. Richards

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« Reply #28 on: March 30, 2009, 11:10:29 PM »

I know the Phillips house.  If we are not overwhelmed tomorrow, I might try and stop by.  Stephen
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Atlantic Central

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« Reply #29 on: March 31, 2009, 12:12:57 AM »

Gene,

You got me thinking, and searching. www.sherwin-williams.com now has a drag and drop color planner with all the historic color collections and auto suggested trim colors.

The same info as those old fashioned books.

Sheldon
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