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Longman & Martinez Paint Company

The first cover below is the first advertising cover I ever bought, and the spark that kindled my interest in the area. I like it for its simplicity and effectiveness, as well as its all-over, two-sided design. The front has a somewhat "trompe-l'oeil" effect, and strikes me as rather modern for its time. Over the years since I have acquired six other examples, all with basically the same front design, but each with a map of the Eastern US on the back.

1/14/2007 - A descendant of Walter Longman, founder (with Aristides Martinez) of L&M Paint Co., contributed extensive biographical and genealogical data about the family. See bottom of page. Further such contributions are welcome, especially information about the fate of the company itself, which according to this page - http://www.ilab.org/db/book1816_36185.html - "...dominated the paint market in the United States from the 1890s through 1920. They were well known for their chromolithographic advertising pieces."


July 20, 1893, Sc. 220

Feb 9, 1899, SC. 279B


10/19/1899, Sc. 279B

Jan 11, 1901, Sc. 279B


Feb 8, 1901, Sc. 279B

1901, Sc. 279B


1901, Sc. 279B

The text on the envelopes with a map implies there might be others for the other parts of the country, but I have yet to see any. [There were 45 states in 1899, with only Oklahoma (1907), New Mexico (1912), and Arizona (1912) of the contiguous 48 yet to be added, but the states east of the Mississippi accounted for 80% of the 76 million US population of the day.]

Once I got interested in the advertising covers, anything related to L&M was of interest, so I was pleased to find the cards below, which date from over a decade later, and are far less elaborate, but demonstrate that the brand was still being sold at the start of WWI. Note the proud statement that the paint contains lead! (Lead in paints was not outlawed nation-wide until 1978, though some areas passed laws forbidding its use as early as the 1950's.)


6/27/1914, Sc. UX24

1/25/1915, Sc. UX27

Another aspect of the company was its agents, two of whom created their own advertising covers. Or did they use a format supplied by the main office? These span the years 1894 to 1918, expanding the company's life to post-WWI.


May, 1894, Sc. 220

May, 1918?, Sc. 529

The drab cover on the left is my most recent acquisition, a gift from Phil Neal of Harborside, ME, a visitor to this page. It is in a way my favorite, since I doubt I would notice it at all, were it not for its connection to the others. Note that the sender scratched out the word "Station" - did the town change its name from Leacock Station to just Leacock? Or was the name a misprint?

In tracking down the cards and covers above, I came across a few other advertising products of L&M. Below are a couple of poster stamps, an ink blotter, and a small notebook. The inside cover text of the notebook is entertaining. The numbers at the top of the inside front cover suggest to me this dates from 1923 (note similar numbers on the post cards above).

So what happened to Longman and Martinez Paints? They seem to have been a dominant name in the business for at least thirty years. Did they merge with some other company? Please write me if you can provide further information about their history.

================================================================

1/14/2007 - A descendant of Walter Longman, founder (with Aristides Martinez) of L&M Paint Co., contributed the following:

Dear Mr. Senkus:

I came across your website on the Longman & Martinez Paint Company advertising covers this evening as I was searching for more information on this paint company. My interest is genealogy and the Longman family (related to mine). I discovered today that this company was owned by and employed many male members of the Longman family of Brooklyn, NY for several generations.

It was founded by Walter Longman , born 3 October 1843 in Brooklyn to Samuel and Bridget Longman. Samuel's family were gold refiners in Brooklyn and perhaps on Long Island. Walter married Leah Cammeyer Tremper, born in 1843 or 1844 in New York City. They had 5 children. More on that later. In 1870 Walter called himself a "painter", but he owned real estate worth $7,000 and had $1,000 in personal property - a lot of wealth in 1870. By 1880 he wasa paints and oil dealer... so the paint factory must have been functioning.

Walter's obit in the New York Times of February 27, 1930 says he was a Civil War veteran and founder of the Longman & Martinez paint manufacturing firm in Brooklyn. He died on February 25, 1930 at his home in Brooklyn. The paint company was located at North Tenth and Roebling streets in Brooklyn. Co-owner with Walter Longman was Aristides Martinez. In 1902 the Brooklyn Eagle says they bought land in the 14th Ward of Brooklyn (lots 13 and 14, block 87) from a Lucy E. Stoddard. This may have been when the City of New York (of which B'lyn was a part) was re-locating Roebling St.,requiring the paint company had to move. But as far as I know, it was always located in Brooklyn somewhere.

Children of Walter Longman and Leah C. Tremper were Walter J. Longman (1867); Samuel Tremper Longman (1869); Leah Louise Longman (1874); Royale R. Longman (1877); and, Edward George Longman (1881).

Sons Walter and Samuel Tremper Longman gave their occupations in the U.S. Census as manufacturers of paint, for several decades. Son Royale was a "clerk" in paints and then the credit manager for the paint mfg company.

Grandsons Robert M.(1890) and Walter (1898) both worked for the company, one as a salesman and the other as a manufacturer, perhaps taking over for their father, in 1930 after his death.

Walter Longman's wife, Leah Tremper, had a brother - (Michael) Hermance Tremper - who also lived in Brooklyn who was an engraver and inventor... lots of stuff about him in the Brooklyn Eagle available via the Brooklyn Public Library website. He may have been the person who designed the advertising covers, or at least the return address designs on the Longman and Martinez Paint Co. envelopes protrayed on your website.

Other people in the Longman family married people in the jewelry and watch import business.

Priscilla Tremper Leith

Later, her husband added the following:

Dear Mr. Senkus,

Thank you for posting your highly interesting pictures of L & M envelopes! We stumbled on to that web page because we are interested in the company - Walter Longman (1843-1930) was the founder around 1875 of the Longman and (Aristides) Martinez paint manufacturing firm in Brooklyn. He fell and broke his hip 2 months prior to his death, and then was in poor health until he died, according to his NY Times obituary (27 Feb 1930, p. 18). He married a Leah Cammeyer Tremper, and our "hobby" for about 30 years is the entire Tremper family in the US. They are basically a Hudson River family, but of course spread out from there, including to NYC and Brooklyn and the rest of the U.S. The Longman family has produced some eminent scholars since then - a professor "Tremper Longman" in California, for one, still writing.

Your postings add a lot of fun to the often rather dry business of researching the family, which for us is mostly tracking them in federal censuses. The occupation listings there are just mere hints, for many of them, of their interesting lives and occupations. We have not tried learning much about L & M - your posting may start us off in that direction! We, too, wonder how the firm's life ended and why and how that fitted in with other historical changes. Brooklyn was certainly a lively place in its heyday, and very sensitive to outside changes such as the world wars. I suppose there is someone somewhere who knows all about L&M - but who?

Sincerely,
John D. Leith
Newton, Mass.

Later John sent this:

Here's a photo of the Longman & Martinez paint factory in Brooklyn, Building #26 in a municipal art society group document - they are trying to save some old buildings in Brooklyn.  The document is dated 2005, but does not say when the picture was taken - looks like 2005, in rather poor shape!  There are >100 buildings pictured, 264 they want to save!

It is a PDF at: https://ss97.shared.server- system.net/~mas.org/images/media/original/GW%20Historic%20Buildings.pdf

Image from that document, of L&M factory at 28 Roebling Street, Brooklyn. Built 1910.

Many thanks to the Leiths. If you can assist their research on the Longman family, or add to the history of L&M Paint Co., please write me -

=============================================

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All text Copyright © 2001, William M. Senkus

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Created -- 04/12/2001
Revised -- 01/14/2007

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