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Technology in Australia 1788-1988Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering
Table of Contents

Chapter 9

I Introduction

II The Australian Chemical Industry

III Pharmaceuticals

IV Chemists In Other Industries

V The Dawn Of Modern Chemical Industry - High Pressure Synthesis

VI The Growth Of Synthetic Chemicals - Concentration, Rationalisation And International Links

VII Australian Industrial Chemical Research Laboratories

VIII The Plastics Industry

IX The Paint Industry
i The pioneers
ii The early years - home- and trade-made paints
iii Industrial manufacture
iv Some important developments in the 1920s and 30s
v Rapid growth in the 1950s and 60s
vi Some Australian inventions
vii Recent trends
viii Pigments manufacture
ix Trends in the chemical industry in the 1980s

X Acknowledgements



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The early years - home- and trade-made paints

During the 19th, and into the early 20th century, there was virtually no industrial development of surface coating technology in Australia. House paints ranged from crude water based mixtures to oils mixed with white lead. Paint manufacture was a cottage industry and recipes such as boiled seaweed and lime, Murray mud and lime, egg white gum and zinc oxide, made up on the spot, abounded.

Clear lacquers were based on heat-bodied oils or crude varnishes, formulated from either natural resins such as shellac or yacca gum dissolved in alcohol, or from oil by cooking it with fossil resins e.g. Congo gum.

No coloured pigments were mixed or manufactured in Australia. Those used included green copper hydroxide, naturally occurring red and yellow iron oxides, and Prussian blue, all imported. These pigments were dispersed in oil as 'colours in oil' and were used by the painter's apprentices to tint white lead/oil or zinc oxide/oil bases.

The earliest patent for a paint invention lodged in Australia, came from one Edward McFie, retired Master of Marine of Tasmania in 1904.[133]

At the turn of the century a working man had to work three days to earn the cost of a gallon of paint, so people made their own. It was not until the 1920s that prepackaged distempers, called kalsomine, consisting of whiting mixed with glue or casein, became available in Australia.

People in Bright Sparcs - McFie, Edward

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© 1988 Print Edition pages 718 - 719, Online Edition 2000
Published by Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre, using the Web Academic Resource Publisher