"The Function of Colour in Factories Schools & Hospitals," Circa 1930

I’d love to get my hands on a copy of this book. “The Function of Colour in Factories Schools & Hospitals” is a British book published in 1930. UK-based stationery retailer Present & Correct owns a copy, and posted these (uncaptioned) scans on their blog:

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I found an old eBay listing to an already-sold copy, and was able to make out some of the text in the industrial section:

Woodworking Mill

The Problem

The material being fabricated supplies large areas of neutral colour which need some slight colour-contrast in the surroundings to prevent monotony and the consequent loss of production efficiency. It is desired to achieve harmony with the various machines employed—originally supplied in various colours—by repainting them to tone-in with the main scheme.

Heavy Engineering Works

The Problem

This is a large area in which the presence of a great number of very high and heavy machines gives an impression of overpowering weight. It is necessary to reduce the feeling of oppression caused by the size and quantity of machinery, for otherwise premature fatigue will be caused to workers.

Cigarette Sorting Room

The Problem

A large room lit almost entirely from the roof, with a consequent oppressive feeling of enclosure. The work done in it is monotonous and repetitive, and the staff entirely feminine. It is desirable, by the use of colour, to create a pleasant scheme which will diminish the feeling of enclosure and, while being quiet enough to prevent distraction, will be sufficiently stimulating to counteract the monotony of the work.

Color vs. monotony, oppression, repetitiveness. Which do you reckon won?

It is nice to think that a hundred years ago, the publishers thought to put this book out at all. (I wonder what the uptake was.) If you look at most modern factories, it sure doesn’t seem like color is a big priority.

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Source: core77

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