In 1902, Mr. Nicholson began marketing and packaging Peerless brand watercolor paints in booklet form. Each booklet included 15 DrySheets of color tacked loosely into the booklet in order to be removed for use, and old English descriptions and directions. One side of each DrySheet swatch contained a concentrated heavy layer of dry watercolor paint that activated when moistened. The concentrated color comes to life when touched with a wet brush or swab. The opposing side of the DrySheet was painted with a light wash of color that is representative of the paint color shade.
The original Complete Edition booklet introduced in 1902 under the Trademark included fifteen colors of water color paints. That original Complete Edition booklet is still in use today, and the pages are still printed with the old English descriptions and directions.
In the early 1900s, George Eastman of Eastman Kodak Co. out of Rochester, New York, recognized the quality of the Peerless brand of water color paints. Mr. Eastman invited Mr. Nicholson to move his business to Rochester, New York so the two gentlemen could work together by adding color to black & white photography prior to the development of color film. The two businesses complimented each other and continued tinting films, slides & photographs for some time. Kodak and Nicholson’s Peerless Transparent Watercolors worked together for many years. It was during this time that the cover of the Complete Edition booklet was produced in KODAK yellow for recognition as a reputable photographic product.
The Trademark booklets became, and have for decades been, a recognizable feature of Peerless Watercolors all over the world. Over the 115 years existence, famous artists such as Salvador Dali and Ansel Adams have been known to utilize the Peerless brand watercolor paints. Many museums, including the Museum of Natural History has used the Peerless brand paints in their restoration department for restoring old photos. Sales records from the 1920s reflect the sales of the product bearing the Trademark to the Milwaukee Public Museum, the Kent Scientific Museum and many others.
Jerry Garcia of the famous band, The Grateful Dead, was a long time user and fan of the Peerless brand watercolors. we received a call from Jerry Garcia’s assistant in 2008. The assistant indicated that she always purchased Nicholson’s Peerless Transparent Watercolors for Mr. Garcia, and that Mr. Garcia used the water color paints to create his own watercolor paintings. He later used those paintings as the template for his artistic line of neckties that are still being sold today, examples of which are shown below.