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stain. The advantages of the water stain are that any shade may be produced as desired and that the cost is much less than that of prepared stains. The prepared stains, however, do away with any bother of mixing.
If the water stain is used, sponge the entire chair with water, and sandpaper again before applying stain. Apply the stain evenly. When dry, sand very lightly in order not to take off stain, and then shellac. Color some shellac with Bismark Brown and go over the light places. Sand lightly and again shellac. After sanding this second coat, the chair may be varnished or shellacked. Two coats of varnish should be applied if varnish finish is desired. The last coat should be rubbed with pumice and afterward with oil and rottenstone.
The frame is now ready for the upholstering. The processes of webbing, springing up, tying, double stuffing, stitching edges, etc., will be explained in the next article of this series. It is, of course, possible to send the frame to an upholsterer and probably a better job would result, but if the full educational value is to be derived from this project, the upholstering should be part of the student's work.
The Seymour Chair Co., Seymour, Ind., has increased its capital to $10,000.
The Banner Mattress Co., Madison, Wis., has moved its plant to Sun Prairie, Wis.
The new plant of the Fulton Furniture Works, Shandaken, N. Y., is nearing completion.
The Klerner Furniture Co., New Albany, Ind., has authorized an issue of $25,000 preferred stock.
The capital stock of the Michigan Chair Co., Grand Rapids, Mich., has been increased from $300,000 to $400,000.
The F. Zimmerman Company will erect a factory at Cleveland, Ohio, for the manufacture of picture mouldings.
The Bagby Furniture Co., Baltimore, Md., will erect a six-story warehouse and office building as an addition to its plant.
The Wisconsin Chair Co., Port Washington, Wis., recently sustained a loss of $10,000 by fire, fully covered by insurance.
The Northern Indiana Upholstering Co., Bluffton, Ind., capital $10,000, has been incorporated by C. L. Keyser and others.
The New York Bed Spring Mfg. Co. will erect a threestory factory building at Brady and St. Antoine streets, Detroit, Mich.
The Brocton Furniture Company, Fredonia, N. Y., will increase its capital stock to $25,000 and build a large addition to its plant.
The George Michelsen Furniture Co., Rochester, N. Y., will erect a new four-story factory building of brick construction at a cost of $42,000.
The Marion Mattress Company has been organized to take over the business of the Marion Mattress Works.
J. A. Fillebrown, former owner, will retire from active business.
The Welch Manufacturing Co., of Sparta, Wis., will build an addition to its plant to cost $50,000.
The Perfection Desk Manufacturing Co., Spokane, Wash., capital $20,000, has been incorporated by G. W. Morrison, E. H. Barton and F. P. Lint.
The Geyler Furniture Manufacturing Co., Hillsboro, Ohio, which has added beds to its line of case goods, is constructing a large addition to its present plant.
The Huchins Furniture Manufacturing Co., St. Louis, Mo., capital $50,000, has been incorporated by Jos. Bruno, C. M. Beath, Harry Kutchinski and G. R. Kuchinski.
The Phail Chair Co., Wayland, N. Y., suffered a loss of $35,000 when its factory was destroyed by fire on March 27th. It is reported that the plant will be rebuilt and enlarged.
The Greenville Chair Factory, Greenville, Tenn., has suspended business, throwing 400 employes out of work. It is expected that the property will be sold and the business reorganized.
The Western-Halladay Co. has been incorporated at Lima, Ohio, with a capital stock of $3,000, to upholster, repair and refinish furniture.
The Old Colony Chair Co., Rockford, Ill., recently incorporated with a capital stock of $15,000, promises the first extensive production of chairs in the Illinois furniture manufacturing center in years. The company, which will occupy a remodeled plant, will start operation within a few weeks.
Less than 15 per cent will be realized by the creditors of the defunct Fox & Mason Furniture Co., Corunna, Mich., according to the estimate of Trustee A. L. A. Sanderhoff. The sale of the Fox & Mason plants to Hugo Zoener of Arcadia for $15,000 has been confirmed.
The American Furniture Manufacturing Co., of Asheville, N. C., will make an extensive addition to its plant. A building three stories high and 100 feet long will be built for finishing, storage and shipping departments. The capital stock has been increased from $25,000 to $75,000.
The strikers continue to make trouble for Levin Bros., of Minneapolis. Although Dennis F. Gorman was acquitted of the charge of shooting Joseph Bayerle, the foreman of the factory, a riot occurred outside the factory on the morning following his acquittal and Gorman was found in a mass of struggling men and declared that he was trying to prevent the fight. Gorman and four others were arrested.
The Williamsport Furniture Co., Williamsport, Pa., has been awarded the contract for the bed-room furniture with which the hotels and cottages of the Marconi Wireless Telegraph Co., New York, will be equipped. The furniture, which is largely of mahogany, will be shipped to stations of the wireless corporation, situated in various parts of the world.
Approximately $750,000 was involved in the transfer on February 9 of the interests of the Northern Chair Co., Grafton, Wis.; the Lakeside Craft Co., Sheboygan, Wis., and of the Wisconsin Seating Co., New London, Wis., to the financial control of the Wisconsin Chair Co., Port Washington, Wis., of which Fred L. Dennett, of Sheboygan, is president. The combined properties are valued at more than $2,000,000 and although operated separately as heretofore, the Wisconsin Chair Co. will be legal head. All of the companies now under the control of the Wisconsin Chair Co. were organized by Mr. Dennett and the consolidation is said to make one of the largest chair concerns in the world. The plant of the Lakeside Craft Co. has recently been enlarged and the capacity of the Wisconsin Seating Co. has been increased.
SHOREDITCH, LONDON FURNITURE HUB
What is Being Done to Encourage Young Craftsmen---A Technical School and Some Products---Permanent Exhibition Established for Journeymen By EDWARD W. GREGORY
NE OF the most important centers of furniture manufacture in England is Shoreditch, a thickly populated district of London, having a very large foreign colony, many of the members of which are employed in the trade. Whatever may be considered ideal conditions under which furniture is manufactured, one can scarcely regard this wilderness of narrow, sordid streets, almost entirely unrelieved by open spaces of any kind, as being likely to afford exceptional facilities for the prosecution of a craft which contains so large an element of artistic quality. Yet the fact remains that an immense amount of high-class cabinetmaking is done here, and the merchandising branch of the trade, apart from the making, is represented by streets of wholesale houses and shippers who supply the retail stores.
very expensive. Without denying that there is turned out of Shoreditch quite enough bad and expensive work, one is bound to admit that most of it is fairly good commercial stuff and its price, on the whole, is remarkably low. Here is a little instance of a Jew workman in one branch of the furnishing trades who operates by himself in a line one would imagine he would be utterly unable to touch against a big factory. He has a little shop at the corner of a dirty street. I saw in the filthy window what appeared to be a Georgian tea pot of Sheffield plate. I went in and observed a dog on a chain, that barked loudly on my entering. He was a cheap substitute for a shop-minder. The Jew came down from the upper floor with a thick piece of bread in his hand and while he talked he lunched on that and on beer from a jug standing near by. It struck me that the cheap dog and the cheap lunch indicated some considerable economy in running the establishment. I asked to look at the tea pot and it was brought out of the window. It was made of copper and electroplated and was a very close reproduction of a fine Georgian model. The Jew explained to me that it was made entirely on the premises where he worked with his brother. He told me his price for it was seventeen shillings. I am still wondering how it could possibly pay him to make it at that. I saw there many articles of a similar character in various stages of making -candle-sticks, epergnes, biscuit boxes, tea caddies, inkstands, dishes and salvers. If this imitation Sheffield plate had been badly and shoddily made I should not have been surprised. But it was very well done, the copper was stout and serviceable, the plating thick, even, and well finished. Still more wonderful, the style was right, the ornamentation correct. He must have had good old models to copy from. He said he had; but he would not tell me where he obtained them. However, I found out from another source that he deliberately set himself to search for them in all sorts of odd salesrooms and corners of the country side. He would take a bag with him and go away to the country towns of England to sell his electro reproductions and keep a sharp look out for any old models which filtered into the secondhand market. He would bargain for the genuine model as a Jew, but he would pay well for it if he could not otherwise obtain it, having realized that it was absolutely necessary for his work. As fashion is now in the English furnishing trade, the possession of a good and uncommon old model of 17th or 18th century date is a valuable acquisition. I once knew a maker of furniture to be riding his bicycle through a Buckinghamshire village and in passing through the High street, catch a glance of a Queen Anne walnut chair in a little shop. Dismounting, he immediately went to look closer and saw it was a good and rare old shape. He went in and asked the price and was astonished when the apparently simple countryman said £10. The seller knew it was a good model and the furniture manufacturer could not afford to be without it. £10 is a high price for an old Queen Anne chair of country workmanship, bought in the country, in England, where it has nothing special to recommend it beyond its characteristic form. But if the price had been £20 it would have paid the maker to buy it. For when fashion
The Place for the Small Man Shoreditch is extremely difficult to visualize as the center of a particular industry. It is not that there are no visible signs of the cabinet-making trade in the streets. They are plentiful enough. But they seem so small and insignificant, so unrelated to modern scientific system. You may see scores of tiny little shops, often run by Jews, full of oddments which would appear at first sight scarcely worth stocking. Odd bits of planed board lean against the door, roughly priced in chalk. Hinges, handles, nails, screws, lengths of molding, casters, spindles, balusters, and unconnected parts of machine shop tools are exposed for sale at so much each, or so much a dozen, when it would appear as though the economy of present day manufacture would necessitate such articles being purchased by the gross or the thousand and stored away for use in some great manufactory. Now it is perfectly obvious that there must be customers who support these little, insignificant shops, and it is equally certain that no big manufacturing concern would find it worth while to deal with them. The fact is, of course, that there are hundreds of small workmen in Shoreditch and the neighborhood who carry on their craft as individuals. A Pole may employ two or three men of his own nationality and engage to supply some bigger concern with certain specified details. work at home in a cellar, or any other dark little place, by himself, putting in as many or as few hours as he pleases, and selling the results of his handicraft to anyone in the trade who may care to buy. Such a man is often clever and smart and capable of being of very convenient service to manufacturers in a variety of ways. He is at hand to undertake all sorts of small jobs and so relieve the principal maker of the trouble of specially organizing in his own workshops. There seems to be very little system in it, and it is all against modern ideas on economy of effort and material. It would seem as though there must be constant waste and ill-directed energy. It seems obvious that a hundred men working each by himself and fetching and carrying for himself, must waste a heap more time than a hundred working together under an efficient organization. The logic of it would appear to be that furniture made under these conditions must be one of two things: either very bad or
EXAMPLES OF CRAFTSMANSHIP AT THE SHORDITCH TECHNICAL SCHOOL, LONDON
Modern dressing table
China cabinet in Walnut
in furniture demands exact reproductions, the following situation is rapidly created and in England it is being experienced today: All makers who supply retail houses. immediately turn to the recognized authoritative historical sources for their models to copy. For instance, they go to Chippendale's well known "Gentlemen's and Cabinet-maker's Directory," published in 1754, and since several times reprinted. For Sheraton work they consult "The Cabinet-Maker's and Upholsterer's Drawing Book," published in 1791, and for Heppelwhite they go to "The Cabinet-Maker and Upholsterer's Guide," published in 1789. For Jacobean work they go to the public museums of furniture or to books published which give illustra
Toilet Stands adapted from old examples of the 18th Century
tions and details of such furniture. Now it is quite obvious that after a year or two the best models from these sources will have beeen turned out by numbers of firms. They are available for anyone who may choose to copy. So that makers find each other turning out exactly the same things. The first-class firm finds itself more or less on a level, as far as design is concerned, with the second or third rate house. Something must be done to remedy this. The designer cannot help them, for as fashion is, he is not permitted to originate. The public demands exact copies of old work and the public in England is now very well educated in this matter. It cannot be put off with the spurious. It is very quickly suspicious of a cabinet or a chair which suggests that it has been originated in the drawing office and issued as an exact reproduction of an old thing. The public is not technically instructed, but it seems to have an instinct for the right article, and retailers, particularly in the West End of London, will admit readily enough that for some reason or other they have difficulty in selling a piece of furniture as a good and exact replica if it has been merely designed in the style without reference to an old piece. Of course, there is a very large trade done in Georgian adaptations, but the public knows quite well the difference between an adaptation and a reproduction. From the foregoing it will be readily seen that manufacturers of reproductions are forced to search for old pieces of furniture which are not available to everyone. They must get hold of pieces of exceptional character which have not been photographed, measured, published, and exhibited broadcast. Sometimes with a little diplomacy and interest permission is obtained for a firm to measure an old piece in private possession and when the contents of an historical house are sold at auction it is no uncommon thing at all for a manufacturing firm to bid against private buyers for exceptional pieces, merely to have exclusive right to reproduce them.
Evidence of Hand Work
There can be no doubt that the taste for this recrudescence of historical furniture accounts, in some measure, for the continued life of the little cabinet-maker in such a
place as Shoreditch. Reproductions, to be really convincing, must have some individual craftsmanship about them. You cannot take an old Chippendale chair and reproduce it by machinery. You may use power, of
course, to drive lathes, you may cut dowels, mortises, and tenons, and plane wood and cut veneers by means of machines. But these operations in reproducing old furniture are not the essential operations. It is the cabinetmaking, the carving, the fitting together, in short, the art of the work which tells. I was examining the backs of two old Chippendale chairs the other day. Both were carved, both were good of their kind. But one was immensely superior to the other in what one may call the handling of the wood. The surface of the back where it was cut away here and there gave evidence of having been thought about. You could see the marks of the tools, and what is almost more to the point, it was evident that those tool marks had been left there in the efforts to obtain form. They had not been put there to look pretty and effective. Now the other chair back, although carved, showed evidence that the carving had been put on simply to decorate. Directly the ornament was complete it had been regarded as finished. It did not show that the carver had realized that the decoration and perforated back were parts of one and the same thing and that both should be in harmony with one another. There was a flatness, a triteness, a stiffness about it that looked comparatively mechanical. These qualities, to the maker of commercial furniture, both in England and the United States, may appear as immaterial. And as far as the actual utility of the piece is concerned they are unimportant. But in reproducing old work it is absolutely necessary that qualities such as these shall be obtained and they cannot possibly be arrived at by machinery. They must be got by the work of the hand. The opposite condition of things may be realized by calling to mind the "Quaint" or "New Art" styles which were so much in fashion some years ago. Here the essential quality was the simplicity of line and form, and obviously the simpler the form the more easily it could be obtained by machinery and the less need was there for hand work. There were thousands of cabinets, tables, hall stands, bookcases, chairs, sideboards, and so on, which could be entirely made by machinery excepting the simple operations of fitting together. American and Canadian readers will be familiar
A Gate-leg Table in oak, having double gates to support each leaf and exceptionally strong chamfered underpinning
with the machine made parts of furniture still constructed for convenient dispatch to customers hundreds of miles away which are put together on arrival at their destination. Intelligent organization and coöperation between the drawing office and workshop can easily result in furniture of simple character being turned out with scarcely anything in the way of hand work being put upon it. For the making of such furniture the individual craftsman is superfluous.
Technical Education in Shoreditch
Right in the middle of the Shoreditch district in London is the Shoreditch Technical Institute, whose activity is largely concerned in giving instruction to young men and young women in the various crafts practiced in the