Americans are used to seeing red barns. 

It's become a tradition.

Have you ever wondered why that is?

In part, you can thank Rawlins, Wyoming.

If you visit Rawlins, Wyoming you'll see a lot of sandstone.

Much of it has a red pigment to it.

That red is iron oxide, which was added to the paint for a very practical reason.

That red became a cheap and easy additive for paint.

In the video below geologists, Dr. Anton will explain a little about the sandstone of Ralwins and how Rawlins red was used.

Farmers were looking for an inexpensive paint that was of good quality and would last a long time. So iron ore from Rawlins was added to give the paint this color.

This became known as Rawlins Red.

But it's not just barns across America that were painted Rawlins Red.

This red ochre was used as a pigment in the initial painting of the cables of the Brooklyn Bridge.

There is a very good reason that they chose Rawlins Red to paint those cables. 

The popular YouTube page Today I Found Out looked into painting barns red.

At first, it turns out, painting a bar was seen as extravagant and vein.

But over time it was seen that painting a barn was actually one of the best ways to preserve the wood. So it became accepted that painting a barn made sense.

Iron oxide was added to barn paint to keep out MOLD!

It also had protected the cables on the Brooklyn Bridge against salty air.

Paints have changed a lot over the years.

Farmers no longer need to paint a barn red, using iron oxide. The same effects can be had, pulse more, from modern paints.

But now painting a barn red has become a tradition.

A barn painted any other color would just look strange.

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