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John Goffe Rand, self portrait, oil on board, c. 1836. (Courtesy of the Smithsonian American Art Museum).

John Goffe Rand (1801–1873) lived and worked in Boston, London, and New York as a portrait painter and inventor. Rand invented and patented the first collapsible artist's paint tube.[1]

The tin tube allowed unused oil paint to be stored and used later without drying out. In 1841, Rand patented [2] the invention with the United States Patent Office. He went on to patent several later improvements. Renoir said “Without tubes of paint, there would have been no Impressionism.” [3]

Other later inventions by Rand were not as widely received, and most of his ideas were not financially successful. [4]