Dr. Ph. Martin's artist products are manufactured by Salis International, founded in 1934. Ben Salis, the founder's son, began to work for his family's business in 1936, at the age of 16. That year, in the height of the Great Depression, he was paid just $1 per week.
Ben Salis was given the honorific title of "Dr. Martin" after he invented many graphics and color products, and obtained several design patents. Although he was not a real doctor, products with the trade name of "Doctor" earned instant respectability in the patent medicine era, so the name was applied to his inventions. Dr. Ph. Martin's products are among a handful of "doctor" products that remain on the market today.
Ben Salis passed away in 1996, but his business and his legacy remain, and today his children continue to manufacture Dr. Ph. Martin's inks and color products. They are the third generation in a family tradition. Dick Blick has been carrying Dr. Martin's products since the very early days.