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10 fascinating history highlights about colour

The evolution of colours is a fascinating one. Historically some colours were even seen to have magical and healing powers.  Read and enjoy these 10 history highlights that have helped mould the colour journey.

  1. Royalty and the colour purple go hand in hand. This tradition goes back to ancient times, where snails and clams (mollusk shells) were crushed to extract purple pigment to dye cloth with only the wealthiest and most powerful having access to it.
  2. Creating a third colour from two mixed colours has been attributed to Plato.
  1. Red paint was cherished by the Aztecs, much more than real gold. The Chinese practised colour healing, and even today they believe Red will bring health and wealth.
  2. In 1706, Isaac Newton developed the colour wheel, that was before Captain Cook set foot on Australian soil in 1770.
  3. The first Post Boxes in the UK were painted green. People believed they were difficult to see and many walked into them.  After numerous complaints the post boxes were re-painted in bright red enamel paint in the early 1880’s.
  4. Lead compounds started being added to paint around Colonial times. Little was known in those early days of the toxic affect it could have on the human body. In some countries lead was banned before the 1920’s. Shockingly, lead was not outlawed in United States or Australia until 1970’s.
  5. Milk paint is one the oldest known paints. Even King Tut’s tomb was painted with a milk paint.
  6. Historically it well known the Greeks and the Romans were extremely clever at creating many products and applications throughout their ancient civilisation. Therefor it is no surprise they were found to have created varnish between 600BC – 400AD.
  7. There are many interesting references in history to why front doors were painted red. One of the earliest can be found in the Old Testament. In Egypt to show their alliance to god they covered their front doors with lamb blood, believing the angel of death would not visit their homes to kill their first-born male.
  8. Unions evolved during the Middle Ages. The Worshipful Company of Painters-Stainers UK was founded in 1502, it was not until 1606 when an Act of the UK Parliament was passed giving the painters protection from other trades taking work from them.

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