History of Pinstriping
In the early 1900's, everything from buggy's, fire engines, safes,
salon windows and doors, furniture, and much more was decorated
with the art of fine lines.
Pinstriping, and the art of the line, is as old as the very idea of creativity. Some of
the first known line art is seen on French cave paintings. Native Americans used
line in art that spoke of spirituality. As did people in the South Pacific Islands,
Romans, Greeks, and Etruscans.
French Cave Paintings, dated apx 20,000 years
The Pinstriping we are accustomed to today was popularized
by Andrew Mack, inventor of the Mack brush used by many
pinstripers in today's auto world. Andrew worked for JJ Deal
Wagon & Buggy in Jonesville,MI. Around 1865, he started
working on a different way to stripe, feeling unsatisfied with the
striping pencils of the time. In 1891, Andrew left JJ Deal and
formed Andrew Mack & Son Company, striping Studebaker
carriages, among other things.
By the 1930's, almost every car produced came off the assembly line with a pinstripe. Factory
pinstripers ran line after line on Ford Model A's and T's everywhere. By 1938, however, the
"flourish" as it was called, had begun to lose popularity and was removed from assembly lines. The
art needed a revolution, and revolution it would receive.
Up and coming artists such as Kenneth
Howard reintroduced the art with a custom
flare that caught everyone's attention. No
longer was a pinstripe just a line around a
car, but an Art of Line. Howard, who's
father had been a well known designer and
sign painter, was an artist and music lover.
His lines curved and danced, like the
melody of a beautiful ballad.
The 1950's is considered the "Golden Era of Pinstriping," seeing artists such as Ed "Big Daddy" Roth,
Tommy The Greek, George Barris, and others. Each artist adds their own flare to the art, letting the lines
dance and sing, as if to speak for themselves.
Kenneth Howard (Von Dutch) and his
infamous flying eyeball logo.
Ed "Big Daddy" Roth
There are three major methods of applying a pinstripe. The mechanical stripe, applied by a machine on an
assembly line. Tape stripes, the cheaper alternative to paint. These methods are very clean, simple
stripes, but they lack the creativity and design that has made the art so popular. The third method,
applying the stripe by hand with a brush and paint, still carries the creative vision so many valued in the
Today there are Pinstriping competitions all over the world, and you can be sure you will find a master
pinstriper at any auto or motorcycle show. Seen mostly on Hot Rods, Motorcycles, and high end custom
cars, Pinstriping has found it's comfortable niche in the automotive world. Popular Car Culture TV shows,
magazines, and Auto Shows are helping the art make a rise back into glory.
TTL "history of Pinstriping" ***http://www.toen-the-line.com/History.html
"Pinstriping 101" by Joe Riley ***http://menooshea.blogspot.com/2006/11/pinstriping01.html
"Three Basic Methods of Car Pinstriping" By Marc Deschamps
A Brief History of Pinstriping...