I’ve always enjoyed historic house paraphernalia. Here are a few historic manufacturer catalogs from around 1920. The thought of solid wood doors and columns, picking up lumber from a train and un-crating cabinetry on the job is all very sexy to me. Ok. I know, I have issues… Enjoy.
Sears and Roebuck were in the building business. They shipped whole houses, ready to assemble, around the country. This is a charming scene from their catalog dedicated to materials and millwork for the home. This picture hints at the magic of a home filled with beautiful millwork. The boy adds a certain element of innocence as well.
Gordon-Van Tine was a large millwork company that was prominent and popular at the time. They of course started in Davenport Iowa. As you’ll read in my book, all the big mills of the late 19th century started in Iowa. Iowa, situated on the Mississippi river, milled the white pine trees from Minnesota and Wisconsin. These trees were bundled together into massive barges and then floated down river to the mills in Iowa.
Like Sears, Montgomery Wards was in the building supply business. “Everything for the Complete home.” meant doors and windows as well. This is their building supply catalog.
This is from the inside of millwork catalog from the 1920’s. There were color renderings at the start of each new section. This started off the exterior door section. I find this Tudor Revival entry inviting.