Louisville Varnish Company

The Louisville Varnish Company is an abandoned cabinet varnish factory in Louisville, Kentucky.

The Louisville Varnish Company was founded as the Louisville Asphalt Mining and Importing Company in 1883 1 and by 1924, it had become the largest manufacturer of cabinet varnishes in the nation. 2

The factory at 14th and Maple streets was mostly destroyed in a fire during record-breaking floods on January 30, 1937. 3 4 A new one-story office building at 14th and Maple streets, designed by Walter C. Wagner, was finished in November 1937. Construction then proceeded to a new three-story building to house industrial operations.



  1. “Painting and Coating Industry.” The Encyclopedia of Louisville. Ed. John E. Kiebler. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 2001. p. 683.
  2. “City Leads U.S. in Variou Commercial Fields.” Courier-Journal [Louisville], 17 Jun 1924, p. C4.
  3. “Louisville’s 1937 Private Building Doubles Last Year’s Volume.” Courier-Journal [Louisville], 7 Nov. 1937, p. 3.4.
  4. “Callahan to Rebuild Plant on New Site.” Courier-Journal [Louisville], 31 Jan. 1937, p. 1.


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My dad worked as vice president of LVC in the 70s with Matt Tatum. Does anyone know where Ed Mud is? Dads trying to find him.

Great grandfather who died in 1940 worked there until his death, my grandfather George Prentice worked there all his adult life until his death in 1969. His job was working around large vats that contained so many chemicals… many years later we felt his cancer was as a result working around those chemicals for 35+ years

Worked for this company approx. 30 years (57-85) in the sales of the Fixall paint line which grew to be the largest portion of the business. Co. was sold to R. Tatum , a Canadian real estate man and cousin of Morris Eble who was president at the time, in approx.1959-60. Tatum died in 1985(approx.) and company was inherited by two sons Matt and Kitt. Neither had any business experience so the Company was sold to Don Kurfees which was a disaster for most all employees myself included. Kurfees had tried to buy the company when Tatum placed his bid but none of the sales force would work for him, so he finally got his revenge in 1985. Treatment of employees was really bad when the purchase was final. Understand the company has been sold several times since this all took place.

I have located old stock shares from the 1927’s. If you are interested, please contact me.

Does anyone have a more accurate description/address of where this place is located? My friends and I are planning on traveling the midwest and filming a documentary called "Map of Forgotten Places."

I worked here in the 70's these are great photos I would like to see the insides again it really looks like it changed.



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