Have any of you read "The Great Blue Army Wagon", by Thomas Lindmier? He's looked at a number of surviving examples, and has found a surprising number of them.
I've been discussing colors of the wagons with Kent Ostenstad, who's building one, and Duffy Neubauer, who is also building one. Apparently there is some question about the shade of blue they were painted. Sometime after the ACW, it's believed the shade changed, and my contention is that the photographic emulsion used in the wet plate era was more sensitive in the ultraviolet and the slightly into the green range of the spectrum, while the later, dry plate and early sheet film was more responsive in the visible spectrum, making the images appear different shades.
This is a wet plate image I shot of Kent's paint samples:
The upper 1/2 is light blue, the lower is dark blue, the area in the left middle that is slightly darker is a dark blue gloss paint the same shade as the dark blue, and the dark area on the right is the rust brown of the running gear and wheels. The bench it's propped on is untreated, faded cedar, and the rail it's leaning against is an untreated pine railing. The image was shot in open natural light on a slighty overcast afternoon.
Here it is in black and white:
I think the shades didn't really change, instead I think the photographic evidence suggests they likely stayed about the same, they just look different in the pictures. The question then becomes, which is the correct color for a Civil War era wagon?
What do y'all think?
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Oh, and a question for any of you that might have a chemistry background: would a lead based paint, photographed in the UV spectrum, present a different shade than non-lead based paint?