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Being a Chapter of Comment and Story, Sometimes Reminiscent, Concerning Men and Events in the Furniture Industry, Here, There, and Everywhere

By THE EDITOR

GRAND RAPIDS manufacturer relates in sup

A

port of the all too common belief that a very large number of the foremen finishers in the local factories, as elsewhere, are susceptible to influence when it comes to buying finishing-room supplies, this tale: "We had been anxious to introduce a varnish which was condemned by our foreman finisher. Every time an order was placed for the make of the manufacturer who had satisfied us that he had the goods which were right, our foreman reported that it was all wrong, and could not be used with satisfactory result. At this stage we resorted to strategy. Five of the empty barrels in which the material approved by the foreman had come, were shipped to the other maker, and came back in due time filled with the varnish from the factory with which we sought to trade. The goods went into consumption, were highly praised by our foreman finisher and were very much all right. Needless to say we have parted company with that particular foreman, and we have no definite knowledge when the fact dawned on him that the varnish which came in the old barrels was not varnish from the manufacturer who had presumably been rewarding him for his influence in determining what varnish we should use."

In this connection it may be stated that there are foremen finishers who at this very moment are standing upon the brink of a precipice because the number of employers is constantly being added to who have determined that no one in their institution can serve successfully at the same time two masters.

Menominee, which is in Michigan, has a mayor who is likely to be heard from during his term of office. He is not unfamiliar with municipal government and he has been intimately connected with the bedding branch of the furniture business for a good many years. The man is Marshall B. Lloyd, who has just assumed the office to which he was elected at the recent election. Mr. Lloyd is an inventor. He invented, fully twenty years ago, the machine for weaving woven wire mattress fabrics, which was very generally used by the manufacturers of this article. These machines were leased on a royalty basis and at one time Mr. Lloyd was receiving royalties of more than $12,000 annually, or had anticipated these royalties by a sale of the machines to even so large a producer as the Simmons Manufacturing Co., of Kenosha. At this period Mr. Lloyd lived in Minneapolis, where he was a member of the city council, and where he served the city with distinction. It is only a few months ago that there was printed in these pages an account of a process invented by Mr. Lloyd for drawing tubing, which it was prophesied would revolutionize metal bed making. This process, it was recorded, had been invented and was being promoted in Detroit. While Mr. Lloyd was still a resident of Minneapolis, he established a manufacturing industry and began to make a line of toy carts, gocarts and metal things of that sort. One or two propositions were advanced in Minneapolis for capitalizing this industry and materially enlarging it, but these were not successfully worked and Menominee, which had always been a lumbering town, began to cast about for

something to take the place of saw mills, offered sufficient inducement to the Lloyd Manufacturing Co. and it was removed to that city.

And now Mr. Lloyd has been elected mayor of the town. In his inaugural address, Mr. Lloyd outlined a plan for making Menominee a beautiful city, in which plan, if it is to be completely successful, there will need to be included Marinette, which is just across the river in Wisconsin. The new mayor's ideas on city government are unique, but Lloyd is so confident of their ultimate success that he is backing them with money from his own pocket. "A town has location to sell. If it hasn't the proper appearance, it is handicapped to a great extent. My idea, therefore, is first to get appearance; then advertise," says Mr. Lloyd. In his first message to the council -the mayor characterizes it as a message to the peopleLloyd offered to provide paint at wholesale prices to any citizen who would agree to paint his home. He offered shade trees at actual cost to any citizen who would agree to plant them under the supervision of the city. He offered the use of 500 vacant lots in the city to citizens who would agree to cultivate gardens on them. Then, to encourage the people to make the most of these privileges, Lloyd offered a cash prize of $100 for the most artistically painted house; another $100 for the persons cultivating the best gardens, and a third $100 for the most artistic flower garden in a workingman's yard. The money for the prizes wasn't to come from the city treasury, either. Lloyd personally gave $100 toward the prizes, and the remaining amount was subscribed by a few individuals. One of his first official acts was to request power to name a citizen's committee of seven, who was to serve without compensation to revise, or, if advisable, to draft a new city charter. It is hinted that a commission form of government will be aimed at. Mr. Lloyd is one of those men who have intensely active minds and judged by the way he has entered on his new duties, there will be a surcease of mechanical inventions while he keeps the town agog with his proposition calculated to make a better and more beautiful city. isn't a bad idea to offer paint at little or no cost to people who will paint their houses. There are towns where the people give little or no heed to the appearance of their homes. But let the paint bug get into one or two house owners and the appearance of the town is sure thereafter to be transformed. Mr. Lloyd lived for many years in Minneapolis, where well-painted houses are in vogue.

That

Announcement is made of the death of Putnam Richard Judkins, who at the time of his death was president of the Elkhart County Trust Co., of Goshen, Ind. Mr. Judkins was killed by being struck by a fast east bound Lake Shore train at a street crossing. Until about eleven years ago Mr. Judkins was engaged in the manufacture of furniture in Chicago, with a brother, under the name of Judkins Bros. In the later years of their career in the furniture business they made folding beds only-not expensive folding beds-but beds which could be sold at a very moderate price. This was in the late 90's. They sold these beds in car lots almost exclusively, and at a

price which was the despair of all other manufacturers. But the Judkins Bros. made money and retired from the furniture business with substantial fortunes. How times have changed! No one, seemingly, is making folding beds now, and it is certain that there is no salesman gifted enough to sell a car load, to say nothing about many car loads, as the Judkins were able to do. And the question constantly arises in the mind of the man who was familiar with the hundreds and hundreds of these beds which were made between 1890 and 1905, what has become of all these beds? Now and then you will find one in a hotel-an ancient hotel-or a second-hand store. But what has become of the rest? We mean the big, upright ones. A lease of life was given to the principle of the folding bed when the mantel folding bed came into favor, but comparatively few of these are being made now. More metal than wood folding beds are being made, but the device is almost as extinct as the dodo. The time was when beds were made which sold at retail up into the hundreds of dollars and the biggest and most prosperous manufacturers of furniture-manufacturers of the best furniture which was then offered-had folding beds in their line. And the Judkins brothers, so far as we know, were the only people who made any money out of this kind of furniture, for a local paper, in recording Mr. Judkins death, "He was head of the Commercial Exchange of Goshen and was one of the wealthiest and most prominent citizens."

says:

About the time the folding bed began to fall into disfavor there were periods when the life of the trade journalist was hardly worth living. The daily newspapers acquired the habit of recording, in a more or less sensational manner, how a folding bed here, or a folding bed there had suddenly folded up and snuffed out the life of the occupants of the bed. All

at best There is reason to believe that it fell into disfavor as much from the inability of women to move the thing about as anything else. And what woman does not want to be able to move easily every article of furniture in her home?

One of the most convincing of the papers read at the Mass Convention of the Furniture Manufacturers, at which the Federation was organized, was that of C. F. E. Luce, the secretary of the Commercial Fixture Manufacturers Association, on "Freight Classification for Furniture." If there were no other reason for such an organization as has been formed it should be found in the intelligent unification of the classification of furniture. The recital of an incident will serve to illustrate. It occurred fully a dozen years ago when the writer of this occupied the position of secretary of the Case Goods Manufacturers Association. At that time the classification of china closets, in the territory of the Southern Classification Bureau, was double first class, as we now remember. In

THE WAY TO REACH THE MAN
The way to reach the man who toils
Amid the dingy workings

Is not by strategems and spoils
Or oily smiles and smirkings.
You give him model homes and such,
Or clubs in which to revel,
You still will find yourself in "Dutch,"
Unless you're on the level.

You must be fair and square and just,
A man among your brothers,
Before old doubtings turn to trust
Or ancient hatred smothers.
Whatever motive yours may be,
In time he's sure to find it,
He looks through every deed to see
The spirit that's behind it.
And though he may misunderstand,
Repel, at first, and doubt you,
He'll warmly grasp the proffered hand
When he is sure about you.
The boys within the breaker shed,
The miners, deep below them,
Are slow of faith and hard of head;
You've simply got to show them,
And prove your varied aims and ends
Are not those of the devil-
For man and master can be friends-
If both are on the level.

the territory of the classification bureau with jurisdiction north of the Ohio river, the classification was en entirely different, while the classification of bookcases was very much lower. Now every furniture man knows that a library bookcase and a china closet are about the same thing in size, shape, weight and fragibility. There was no substantial reason why the two articles should not carry exactly the same classification, and no substantial reason why the classification should not be the same on lines north of the Ohio river and south of the Ohio river. The Southern Classification Committee had given notice of a meeting to be held at the Hotel Patton in Chattanooga. The Rockford manufacturers were the manufacturers who were most interested in one classification from Rockford to the Gulf, and W. A. Brolin, of the Skandia Furniture Company, was appointed the head of a committee to appear before that committee. He prepared himself with infinite care and made a strong case. There were other matters for presentation and the party which traveled south included Adolph Karpen, of S. Karpen & Bros. and the writer of this. The hearings were in a room in the Hotel Patton and our party were guests at that hotel. We were all known to R. G. Morrow, the Memphis manufacturer and New Orleans jobber, and he was known to us. Mr. Morrow was an active member of the association which had appointed this particular delegation, and what was being attempted was equally well known to him, although it afterwards developed, it did not meet with his approval. Not once during our stay was Mr. Morrow visible, although he was in the city during all the time, and secured a hearing before the committee unbeknown to the rest of us. The change was not made and our labors were in vain. Instances of this kind are innumerable. There are manufacturers who are first

Berton Braley, in Coal Age.

the inventive skill of the bed makers was turned to making self-locking beds, and the retail salesman was charged with selling talk with which to combat the idea which had become prevalent, that folding beds were unsafe. Let the trade paper editor reprint any of these tales, or make any allusion to them, and forthwith some maker of a folding bed would enter his protest and withdraw his advertising The jokesmiths of the daily newspapers kept up the fusillade, and undoubtedly had much to do in creating a belief that folding beds were unsafe, while the sanitarians contributed their mite by spreading the belief that shut up all day a bed of this type was not a very good thing on which to sleep all night But why this latter argument is not as tenable when applied to the sofa bed davenport, which is the legitimate successor to the folding bed, we are unable to understand. Many attempts were made to make the folding bed a thing of beauty, and although it was supposed to be a great saver of room space, with its safety devices and counter weights and wealth of lumber, it was a cumbersome thing

and always for themselves. It is now proposed to adopt a modern policy.

Mr. Luce's files are full of letters showing that manufacturers in the commercial fixture lines are constantly working at cross purposes with the various classification committees. This is equally true in other lines of manufacture. No wonder that uniform classification is not accomplished and that the railways are in position to juggle classification and increase their earnings under false colors. There seems now to be general agreement among the manufacturers of furniture that the railroads should be granted an advance in rates, but a horizontal advance of 5 per cent. in the rates now being paid may mean one thing to one manufacturer and another to another. It may mean one thing in one stretch of territory and much more in another. But there can be no hope of rational classification until the manufacturers themselves get together and agree upon classification and description of classification which is first equitable to all concerned, and which at the same time can be understood by the shipper and railway employes. Pull down your classification sheet and see how many things are included which do not now have a place in the present furniture nomenclature. Articles of furniture come and go. There are things being made today which were not being made ten years ago, and the classification sheets still feature articles which are obsolete. It is not in the nature of things that rate clerks and classification committees should be able to keep pace with these changes, and the changes which take place in the character of the product of factories in all other lines. Therefore, the necessity for cooperation at the hands of a fair-minded, wellinformed committee representing all the furniture manufacturers. Assistance of this kind ought to hasten the completion of the universal classification now so much needed.

C

Design Piracy

OMPLAINT has been made, so long as the memory

of man runs not to the contrary, that the manufacturers of furniture suffer more than do most manufacturers from design piracy. It is notoriously true that if any particular article of furniture proves successful, it is immediately copied by some other manufacturer, cheapened oftentimes, possibly modified slightly and put into open competition. Instances are not unknown in which the actual patterns of certain manufacturers have been bought through dealers by designing commission men or unscrupulous manufacturers, and the goods copied literally. Within the past year an employe of a Michigan factory was detected copying the samples on the showroom floor of a Grand Rapids manufacturer, and ejected from the room.

At this time, when Period furniture is in vogue, and when all the designers are basing their work on the models of the English masters, it is difficult to determine whether or no any one has a right in the prevailing patterns. But it is a curious fact that while the manufacturers of laces, draperies, fabrics, wall paper and like things are giving loyal support to the National Design Registration League which has fathered this legislation, the makers of furniture are seemingly without interest in the work which is being done. Possibly more manufacturers of furniture prefer to be in position to steal their designs than create them. We hope not. For the time will come, let us hope, when some original work will be done by our designers and the inspiration will be from within, rather than from without, and we shall have furniture of distinction as well as originality.

There is now pending in Congress what is known as the

Oldfield bill for the protection of design. The purpose of the bill is not to protect the configuration or ornamentation merely, but to protect the manufactured article embodying the design or having the design applied thereto. In other words, a design as applied to or embodied in a stove might be found capable of being adapted to a product in some other art, as, for example, in a sugar bowl or a piece of glassware. The theory of the bill is that the design of the sugar bowl, or the design of the piece of glassware embodying the particular ornamentation or configuration is new and registerable, notwithstanding the previous application of the design to the stove, and that the previous registration of the design of the stove would not prevent a valid registration for the sugar bowl or the piece of glassware having a similar ornamentation or configuration embodied therein or

applied thereto.

Under the section providing the defenses, it will be sufficient to defeat the charge of infringement of a registration by showing that the design was old embodied in the particular product at the time it was registered to the complainant, or that the design was not new and original as embodied in the product at the time of registration. The question of validity and all other questions affecting rights are thrown entirely into the courts and applications for registration cannot be held up pending the determination of such rights.

Editorial Notes

AMERICAN gum lumber, according to a consul report, is finding a ready sale in Syria.

WE ARE doing a big export trade in timber and timber products, but decidedly too much of it is timber and raw material and not enough consists in finished articles, such as furniture.

LONG-DRAWN-OUT strikes are on at the plant of Heywood Bros. & Wakefield, the chair makers, at Gardner, Mass., and against Levin Bros., manufacturers of upholstered goods, at Minneapolis, Minn.

CAN it be possible that the Interstate Commerce Commission has been influenced by the "watchful waiting" policy of the President and does not therefore hand down the decision on the application by the railways for an advance of 5 per cent. in the existing rates?

THE Georgia Chamber of Commerce, with headquarters at Atlanta, has sent out inquiries all over the state regarding new industries which are needed in various sections, and what coöperation would be given new comers in the way of financial assistance in securing a market for their output. Eight cities have replied that they want furniture factories.

THE question is constantly being asked in connection with the revival of American black walnut whether there is enough of it to make it worth while. Well, we sent 494,575 cubic feet of it to Hamburg in 1912 and 543,030 cubic feet in 1913. That is the largest amount of any American wood sent to that particular market in the years named, with the single exception of poplar.

ONE of the readers of THE FURNITURE MANUFACTURER AND ARTISAN sent us, several months ago, a piece of pumice stone with the statement that there was an abundant supply of this material available if it had any value. He asked that we make an investigation. The correspondence on this matter has been mislaid. We are

anxious to get into communication with the party sending us the specimen.

THERE is no falling off in the amount of building which is being done in the 70 leading cities of the country. The total for the first three months of 1913 was $163,416,178. The total for the corresponding period in the current year was $166,499,174. This is a gain of two per cent. Curiously enough, Grand Rapids and Peoria, Ill., contribute the largest percentage to this gain.

SENATOR LAFOLLETTE of Wisconsin would have the Interstate Commerce Commission almost as sacred as was once the Mikado of Japan. He has introduced a bill making it unlawful to attempt to influence the commission in its rulings on cases by writing to the commissioners through circulars or other means, except those permitted under the rules of the commission. To do a thing of this sort is punishable by a fine of $2,000.

LET us make acknowledgement to our old partner, P. D. Francis. When it comes to arranging the details of an entertainment, such as was given the manufacturers who assembled in Chicago last week, he is in his element and matchless. He ought to have been an impressario or a Sir Boniface. It matters not that the facilities for such a thing are to be found in Chicago, Mr. Francis knows where they are and how to marshal them.

A MEETING of retail furniture dealers from the region west of Chicago has been called for June 25th, to discuss the question of one line and one market season a year, to supplement the present system of two seasons a year, and to take action in the matter. The meeting is being called by a committee of which A. E. Premo, of the Grote-Rankin Furniture Co., Spokane, is chairman. A similar meeting is contemplated in New York. The retailers evidently propose to be heard on the much-mooted question.

LAST Sunday the New York Sun published a number of reports from leading and representative business men all over the country. The consensus of opinion appeared to be that the future was full of hope, though it was admitted that there are some matters yet to be settled. Many of the parties quoted considered that while there was a growing confidence in better business conditions, largely due to the promise of good crops contained in the Government reports, the great disturbing factor, outside of the Mexican disturbance, was the railroad situation, and the growing belief that no permanent betterment can come until the railroads have received at least a part of their demands.

THERE is a unique strike on in the plant of the Morgantown Furniture Co., at Morgantown, W. Va. It is neither for shorter hours, higher wages nor recognition of the union, but against a superintendent whom it is claimed was imported from Grand Rapids. The employes, who have heretofore been at peace with their employers, charge that the new superintendent, upon taking charge, began to curse and abuse them and to discharge those who resented such treatment. The climax was reached when the foreman discovered a Testament on the work bench or tool-box of a laborer and is alleged to have informed him in abusive language to "keep his religion at home or stay there himself." and immediately every man in the department walked away.

ABOUT thirty-five buyers of furniture have visited Grand Rapids to inspect the offerings of the Berkey & Gay

Furniture Co. in response to their announcement that their season would open on April 18. The number is not large, but this is by no means significant. Trade is exceptionally dull with all manufacturers, even of staple goods. It is a period of watchful waiting. Furthermore, the opening of the carpet season was postponed from May 1 to May 18, which made some difference. There is reason to believe under these circumstances that had the opening date been fully a month later than it was made it would have been better. But the Berkey & Gay Furniture Co. is content. Some business has been booked and the new things in the line have had the critical examination of buyers of discrimination and judgment. This inspection will not be without results, which will be shown when the tide of buyers arrives in midsummer.

THE New York Wholesale Furniture Association has been organized to exploit the New York furniture market. Heretofore, about all that has been done to attract attention to New York, as a furniture market, has been done by Chas. E. Spratt, of the New York Furniture Exchange, who made the statement at the meeting of the local manufacturers that he had spent from $4,000 to $7,000 annually in advertising. Mr. Spratt also called attention to the fact that few of the local manufacturers showed in his building, and that the output of concerns outside the Exchange, and located in New York, far exceeded that of the manufacturers showing in the Exchange. Many of these were makers of high grade product. John Trounstine, of the Greenpoint Metallic Bed Co., was elected president; Henry W. Robinson, of the Robinson-Roders Co., first vice-president; Embury Palmer, of the Palmer & Embury Mfg. Co., second vice-president; G. W. Cotton, secretary, and II. M. Susswein, of the H. Herrmann Co. treasurer. A strong

and representative board of directors was elected. The exhibitors in Chicago are also to supplement the advertising campaign which has been carried on for that market by the building owners for years past. So far as Grand Rapids is concerned, a furtive, but not well sustained, campaign has been carried on for three years, a re-enforcement of which it is expected will be attempted during the summer season.

MANUFACTURERS should follow closely a new department which is established in this number-the department of Dealers' Wants. The sister publication of THE FURNITURE MANUFACTURER AND ARTISAN, The Furniture Record, has a very wide constituency among the retailers. They are constantly asking the publishers of these magazines to perform little offices for them. When a dealer hasn't the information at hand which enables him to respond to the demand of some customer, he writes the editor. On average, fully one hundred of these inquiries are received each month. They are responded to as far as possible by letter, and the inquiries have heretofore been published almost exclusively in The Record. But they should be of interest to the manufacturers, who in some cases are in position to furnish the goods called for. The editor is not always able to give this information, for there are many things he does not know, and to avoid delay the inquiries are to be hereafter embodied in a notification sheet which will be furnished to manufacturers upon terms which will be explained upon application. Last week's sheet contained eleven such inquiries and the array elsewhere given is the selection from the mail of a little more than two weeks. This does not mean that the popular Mail Bag in The Record is to be discontinued. The inquiries will be reproduced in that publication, for in a fine spirit of coöperation the retailers are given to helping out their fellow merchants by supplying information upon where goods in request may be had.

ASK AND
AND YE SHALL

BE ANSWERED"

GLUE TESTING MACHINE

In an article published several years ago in one of your publications, R. G. McCain mentioned a laboratory or experimental joint strength testing machine for glue joints made for test purposes. Do you know anything about the device and whether it is still on the market? The writer in years of experience has not seen such a device advertised. Will you kindly inform me where such a machine can be purchased or will you turn this letter over to the manufacturer. E. V. MANUEL. Chemical Engineer.

Grand Rapids, Mich. Answer by Alexander T. Deinzer :-Machines used for testing steel can be used for this purpose. You can make one of these machines at the expense of but a few dollars. Friman Kahrs (deceased) designed one of the simplest and most practical machines of this kind on the market. It is possible that you can get better information by corresponding with Mrs. Friman Kahrs, East Haddam, Conn. There is, I understand, no patent involved and when Mr. Kahrs was alive he offered to give details about the various parts of the machine to his clients and friends. The two main requirements of a glue testing machine are: First, that a pull of not less than 6,000 pounds can be exerted, and second, that the machine can take test pieces of various lengths, from around 14 inches and down, to about 11⁄2 inches clear distance between the two steel pins on which the jointed test piece is hung.

I notice from Mr. Manuel's query that he is a chemical engineer. It requires a technically as well as scientifically trained man to make joint tests. This may surprise many of the readers. Only a few days ago one of the largest wood-working manufacturers in the West told the writer that glue joints at his factory are tested by what he termed the "chisel test." They carefully weigh the water and glue. When the glue is melted the tester glues up rub joints, perhaps on hard wood and on soft wood, to see the effect of the glue on both. These joints they make along the grain and after the pieces have been glued for one or two days, the test pieces are split by chisel and hammer. The manufacturer claims that if the glue seam holds, the glue passes inspection, and if not, it is pronounced as unsatisfactory. A good cabinet-maker then makes a rub joint with bone glue that will not split in the glue seam. I truly pity the manufacturer who depends upon such tests and I exceedingly regret to state that more than 50 per cent.-yes, I believe I can safely say more than 85 per cent. of the furniture manufacturers test their glue by this very same method. Tell me, how can you determine the commercial value of your glue when using such absurd methods? When selecting stock for test pieces, choose wide strips, because the density of the wood varies considerably from the heart to the rim of the log. The density of the test piece has considerable influence on the making of a joint, for which reason you must get all test pieces alike if possible. In my laboratory work I invariably use oak when making joint tests. Remember, it is necessary to determine the density of your test pieces. By density I

mean the specific gravity of the piece-the denser the wood the heavier. Pieces of the same density are alike in porosity. Now, Mr. Furniture Manufacturer, you will appreciate why your chisel tests are absolutely worthless. Dr. Alexander Angell and Friman Kahrs have proven time and again that rule of thumb methods cannot and should not be used when determining joint strength. It is possible to determine the strength of the glue with reasonable accuracy by the test of the joint: but we must deal with what may be termed six minor and six major factors. These I have discussed in my several articles on the subject of glues published in THE FURNITURE MANUFACTURER AND ARTISAN. Remember that the glued test pieces must be pulled apart and this will require quite a force.

FINISHES FOR BLACK WALNUT

Will you please send me a few effective finishing processes for use on black walnut? I am a subscriber and reader of THE FURNITURE MANUFACTURER AND ARTISAN. I should like to know this as one of the manual training wood-working classes has made a writing desk in that kind of material and I have had no experience in finishing black walnut. C. H. OLTMAN. Viroqua, Wis.

Answer by Walter K. Schmidt:-The staining of black walnut, of course, to a large extent, is a matter of taste. The wood, after prepared by sanding, is given a coat of walnut brown stain, which is made by dissolving walnut brown crystals in boiling water. Use the quantity required to produce the desired shade. It is then sanded and given two thin coats of shellac, one or two coats of rubbing varnish and then rubbed dull. This is to water rub, as you understand. As a rule, this wood is not filled. If it is at all, it should be done with Van Dyke colored filler. Black walnut, if the figure is good, will make a very good natural finish. That is, the wood is not stained at all, but finished as above.

A GRAY FINISH

Some time ago I read your article in the March number of THE FURNITURE MANUFACTURER AND ARTISAN, in which you gave directions for putting a gray finish on oak. I have just completed a chair of white oak, which I want to make gray. I tried to follow your directions, but the result was green, not gray. Possibly if I tell you what I did you will do me the great favor of making suggestions. I sponged the wood with water (I also tried it without), then coated it with Ferris chloride. As soon as there seemed to be any change I wiped if off and later coated it with different strengths of nigrosine dissolved in wood alcohol. Some samples I left without the nigrosine, others I coated with tannic acid first. I want the lightest possible shade of gray. Do you suppose bleaching it first would help? If so, do you know of a good bleach? May I also trouble you for suggestions about the filler? Should I use oil or shellac? I should prefer oil, as school closes in two weeks. (I am in the industrial arts department, teachers' college, Columbia.) ADA B. FINLEY.

Answer by Walter K. Schmidt:-The difficulty that you had in producing the gray, I should imagine, was due to the fact that you used the solution of iron too strong.

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