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Ordinary archaeology #001

The most interesting thing about old houses are the stories that they tell and the secrets that they reveal as you get to know them.

Last weekend, I removed our old electrical meter and the conduit that connected it to the breaker panel in the basement. These components became obsolete when we upgraded our electrical service this winter. Because the conduit had been painted over umpteen times, a relatively clean cross section of paint colors was revealed when I yanked the tubing off the wood siding around back.

As you can see in the photo below, it turns out that the new siding color is remarkably similar to another color used on the house many decades ago. That earlier color is a darker, more forest-y green than the gray-tinged “Link Gray” that we used on the siding.  Even so, I find it fascinating that other owners had similar ideas about which hue best suited the house. Since then, various shades of light gray seem to have been the color of choice.

Another fun fact: see that block of wood posing as a brick just below the siding? Nowadays when contractors talk about “blocking”, they’re referring to pieces of wood concealed in walls to provide attachment points for wall-hung materials or equipment.  But the origin of the term are wood blocks like these, buried in a brick wall, to provide secure anchoring points for wood windows and doors. Neat, huh?

paint match

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