Like watching paint dry

Pennine Lancashire is famous for many things but it was the cotton industry that gave it a worldwide audience. Most of the towns, including Blackburn and Darwen, were famous for their mills. That, however, does not mean that there were no other industries. In the land of King Cotton there were a few notable success stories and one of these was the Walpamur company of Darwen.

The company began life as Hilton’s Paper mills in the mid 19th century. By 1906 they had an on-site laboratory and were manufacturing paint and wallpaper. The company changed it’s name to the Wall Paper Manufacturers’ company which it eventually shortened to WalPaMur. The company grew in size and World War II made 90,000 gallons of white paint which were used on vessels as part of the D-Day landings. The company has changed hands over the years and is now best recognised as Crown Paints who still have their headquarters in Darwen.

The little history lesson I have just supplied is to provide a bit of background to the tin of paint I am featuring in this blog entry. Yes, that’s right. A tin of paint.

The last remaining tin?

Why is this tin so special? It is believed to be the last remaining tin of Walpamur’s Duradio paint left in the world. I can’t be sure abou this as there may be more lurking in a shed, forgotten at the back of a shelf, but as far the museum is aware it is the only one. Do you have a tin at home? Or perhaps you remember using some? Make a comment if you do, we would love to know.


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Blackburn Museum can be found in Blackburn, Lancashire. It houses objects documenting Blackburn's industrial past as well as a world class collection of Fine Art, Japanese prints, Icons, Numismatics and Manuscripts. Come and visit us to find out more.

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