Games Learning Resources Visit the Museum
America on the Move
Collection Exhibition Themes
Dimock's paint sample, 1881

Enlarge Image
Dimock's paint sample, 1881
Smithsonian Institution, Negative #: 81-4933


This object appears in the following sections:

Marine Patent Models — Complete Catalog: 1881-present

Paint sample
Catalog #: 80.16.7, Accession #: 1980.0016
In collection
From the Smithsonian Collection

Robert H. Dimock of New Haven, Connecticut, received a patent for a new marine paint in 1881. This is the sample of his invention that he submitted to the Patent Office.

Physical Description

This patent sample comprises a round, clear glass bottle with a cork stopper, about 90% full of a reddish solid. It measures 2 1/2" high by 1 3/8" in diameter.

Date Made:
New Haven
Museum purchase

“The object of my invention is to preserve submarine structures of wood, also ships’ bot­toms, from the permanent attachment of bar­nacles and sea-weed and the attacks of marine worms and insects,” Robert Dimock wrote. “It consists of a paint made by incorporating with a drying-oil certain preparations of cop­per, so as to make a paint...that shall be poisonous and destructive to animal and vegetable life.” In his patent specification he noted the paint’s three main ingredients as cupric sulphate (blue vitriol), glucose, and carbonate of potash.


Robert H. Dimock, Marine Paint, U.S. patent no. 236,216, Jan. 4, 1881.

National Museum of American History About This Site | Sponsors | E-mail Signup | Credits