On another thread Brewster green was discussed. A good friend, Bruce V.S., posted a 1917 book with paint chip colors on the Early Ford Registry site. He gave me permission to post the pages here too.
It looks as though Brewster green is indeed extremely dark, almost black, unless the book pages have changed over the course of time. I've found "Brewster green" mentioned on late 19th century carriages as well as many early 20th century cars, so I suspect the actual color and shade didn't change much over time, although this chip may, or may not, represent the true color "in the day."
Closeup of "Brewster:"
Another poster on the EFR thread says he suspects oxidation/time may have darkened the paint chips. Maybe the question is "how exposed to light was the book page?"
Very interesting. The Brewster Green looks nearly black, which is how folks described it. Thanks for sharing.
Here is a much larger sample chip of Brewster Green.
This is from a set of early chips showing color combinations used on many cars of the period.
As you can see it is a bit lighter than the color chips above but still a dark green.
Pressed the go button too soon
What I'm getting from this is that different companies had different interpritations of the colors.
I have always thought Brewster green was oh like a Drake green seen on old wagon boxes.
Chev used Brewster Green on their pickups in the '30s and '40s. It was the most common color.
I'm no expert on early paints, but I have often wondered (like Herb), if there just wasn't a standard interpretation of color variations. Similar to the "Brewster Green" controversy, the later interpretations of Deep Channel Green seem also to vary considerably. Was that due to different vendors mixing different components, or just different interpretations of the color...or maybe both? Perhaps vendors using different components had not only different results up front, but also different oxidation rates that resulted in faded colors that don't bear much resemblance to the originals. Would be nice to have some folks with a chemistry background weigh in on this.
The 'point of reference' is indeed a part of the original formula's (formulae for you grammar purist?)
Each color has literally 1000 interactions and possibilities to arrive at a 'what looks like' some form of a chip. That's why no one can explain or answer your question with a couple of paragraphs.
However, lets just look at a black of the era...Pigments? There was lamp black, and iron oxide black, and ivory black and bone black as the natural pigments of choice. In some places, they might have black dirt (iron oxide black) in the property next door, or be next to a slaughterhouse (burn dem bones!), and in other places, carbon black (let's just burn trash and old grease against a porcelean hood all day and precipitate it off with solvent at the end of the day and start fresh in the morning) and although burning tusks (ivory black) produces its own version of pigment different from bone black..after the industrial era started ivory black pigment as it was called was usually a mixture of carbon black and bone black.
Tossed out on the table each in its own stripe as dried powder...one would be hard pressed to tell any color difference at all and blenders learned how to get around the eventual 'intensity' issue with maybe a little bit more of 'this'in a mix when we substitute it for 'that' due to lack of supply chain. However, leave it alone on that table even an inside table and come back next year and you now have 4 different color stripes...one stayed pure black (lamp black), one picked up reddish hue (iron oxide black), one shot off whitish (bone black) and if real burnt ivory for ivory black I don't know but would suspect a yellowish black) Put it outside for a year and just about anyone of any sort of visual training whatsoever could pick out the 4 different powder colors and tell you correctly what they were.
So...there is just part of the problem with 'color' and the point of reference or better said point of beginning...
Blue had similar issues, red had similar issues, ochre had the same issues and green had the same issues. After that Crayola rules come into effect,,,and printers have their subtractive color ways both of which cloud the possibilities near exponentially!
As a quick example, Green pigment was then made by either copper and acidic precipitation or a certain 'rock' that was green. The green rock would want to yellow in time due to oxides as that is the nature of almost all rock pigments, the copper precipitation produced what we all know as copper 'tarnish'and whoa...it eventually turns brown outdoors...blue green indoors!
Beginning to get the picture?
I have reason to believe and suspect but yet to prove that Ford black of the era was all carbon/lamp black (the most colorfast black available at the time) and that probably the binder in their Japan putty contained more ashphaltum than what could be considered normal Japan putty of the era.
The science behind that comment? ALL Japan putty of the era had some asphalt in it because that was the drier 'trigger' in the process and less asphaultum per putty mix = longer drying, more asphaultum in putty mix = quicker drying...unfortunately asphalt tends to make colors much, much darker because it adds, ready for it, black! Oh my...did I just mention a factual scientific reason for a coincidence that occurred?
Final comment...color was also a marketing coup that was overhaul definition revised in the 20's and again in the early 50's...A given supplier might call his mix Moxy Green...but Ford might decide to call it Brewster Green just because they could...and Maxwell call it Deep Forrest Green...and maybe Olds decided they liked it too, but said dump in a few more ounces of lamp black per batch for us so that we are just that edge of more contrast but we'll still call it Brewster green too (FWIW, the eyes 'see' contrast BEFORE they see actual hue...it's the way the brain was programmed in the first place...but I digress like I usually do...sorry.
(I'm still looking for a collaborator that can take my usual thousand word stories and make them 100 word stories...lol...but as I said to someone who barked at my largess of words...this tiger can't and won't change his stripes...any volunteers? )
I was given a colour chip taken from under the body plate of an original 09, it was very dark, almost black except when you see it applied to a large area. But even though it had been protected from light, chemical reaction could have changed it.
Some years ago a guy turned up here in the UK with a restored 1933 Model Y in a bright blue which no one had ever seen. He was a techie from ICI Paints who claimed he had analysed the original paint and recreated it as no one had seen it since the 30s, as the original formula degraded within a couple of years.
So if you want Brewster Green truly authentic you need to find an original formula. Or go with the really dark version, cos it does look good.
From George Mills explanation you can see that there are many possibilities as to what may have been the original color and what changes took place during its life.
But here is another possibility,
Maybe as there were different companies supplying the bodies they were each using a different dark green and a Brewster Green on one T could have been different to another and both different to a Canadian car as well.
I was thinking along the same lines. Maybe one of the primary (pun intended) reasons for going to black was for consistency with production stressing the supply chain as Ford kept ramping up production.
As a possibility to your friends findings...
If the original earth pigment contained any sulfur...and the carrier varnish had any lead in it...bingo....you get blackening over time as it self-produces black sulfate...
Why is Brewster Green significant? By 1934 Brewster was iconic to class. As was the Waldorf Astoria, the GOP, or the Louvre Museum.
Brewster was in the lyrics of the song "You're the Top" by Cole Porter in a song from the 1934 musical "Anything Goes."
"You're the top! You're a Ritz hot toddy. You're the top! You're a Brewster body."
The coachbuilder was immortalized in the Cole Porter song, the coach builder company was the only American builder to ever win the Gold Medal at the Paris International Exposition, a gathering of Europe's finest coach builders.
So any thing that was painted or associated with the Brewster Green considered "You're the top!"
Note: There appears to be two versions of the song one cleaner than the other.
George is right about the Brewster name, that famous coach builder in the 1800's built the best of carriages, later made car bodies in the early years and customs into the 30's and 40's.
From Coachbilt website:
Brewster Green was a slightly olive, medium dark shade of green that could be classified as a semi-gloss finish in today’s terminology as it was neither shiny nor completely non-reflective. Several paint manufacturers produced their own version of “Brewster Green” and it eventually became very popular.
On Brewster Green hues, if you peruse early auto advertisements and read descriptions of color, and period color finish literature, you will note 'dark Brewster Green' and 'light Brewster Green' and even 'medium Brewster Green'.
So its hard to know the Ford actual hue selected, but would imagine that the dark Brewster Green as in the turn of the century carriages would be close.
How does Brewster green compare to Oliver green?
Brewster green is very popular on model A s.