Trivia

Subject:
Answer

Gary Smyth
>OK! Here’s the story. Black and Yellow are the colors that made up my dark green. Black 15% and yellow 85%, (sometimes a touch of magenta but not in my batch). It seems that when it comes to paint, true black is a very hard thing to make and (according to the paint guy) “all” commercially available black paints have a green cast. Yellow, a lot of it, just brings it out. Who knew! Well, in a awkwardly related story, the answer to that is that great American group called Moonshiners. In the dark, using the human eye’s cones and the yellow spot called the macula, and with the auto head and street lights of the time, what appeared in the day as green was indistinguishable from black at nighttime. Them revenuers was out searchin the towns for black hot rods and never gave a thought to the dark green car in the parking space beside them. Pity that no Nascar team uses a dark green car— it could be a nice link to history.

In case you're wondering about black pigmment--

Mixed Paint Color Pigments and Varnishes, Holly and Ladd, 1908 “The ordinary black pigments, lampblack, vegetable black, bone black, ivory drop black, gas black, graphite, etc. contain carbon as their essential constituent, and while all of these products are said to be of black color, they vary greatly in shade and still more so in tinting strength.”
How to make black paint Household Cyclopedia, 1881
Peach-stones, burnt in a close vessel produce a charcoal, which, when ground on porphyry, is employeed (sic) in painting to give an old gray.
Another. - Vine twigs reduced to charcoal give a bluish black, which goes a great way. When mixed with white it produces a silver white which is not produced by other blacks; it has a pretty near resemblance to the black of peach stones, but to bring this color to the utmost degree of perfection, it must be carefully ground on porphyry.
Black furnished by bones is reddish. (The U.S. Navy specifies bone black, (22% carbon)as their black.) That produced by ivory is more beautiful. It is brighter than black obtained from peach-stones. When mixed in a proper dose with white oxide of lead, it forms a beautiful pearl gray. Ivory-black is richer. The Cologne and Cassel-black are formed from ivory. Carbon black is 48% ash, 3.7% other, and 48% carbon.
Take some camphor and set it on fire; from the flame will arise a very dense smoke, which may be collected on a common saucer by holding it over the flame. This black, mixed with gum arabic, is far superior to most India-ink.

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