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Cape Cod Nary a Painter

An unpainted house today draws attention to itself by the very fact that it is unpainted. It is either a new house not yet ready to live in, or an old, neglected, weather-worn house that, once upon a time, was painted, but not since then.

In Colonial times, however, and at least up to the time of the War of Independence, Cape Cod houses were never painted at all. In the early lists of various kinds of workmen, you will look in vain for house painters.

It is said that just prior to the Revolutionary War, a citizen actually had the woodwork of one of the rooms of his home painted. This was really going too far—in fact, a wasteful thing to do in the mind of some of his friends. One of these friends remarked, “Well! Archer has set us a fine example of expense, he has laid one of his rooms in oil.”

No doubt, if you should ask one of today’s painters to “lay your rooms in oil,” he would stare wonderingly at you. And we all know that, so far as expense is concerned, “Save the surface (with paint) and you save all!”

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Cape Cod
Posted by Cape Cod - (website) on 03/16/06
Categories: HistoryHouses
Keywords: architecture, history, cape cod house, house painter


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