Guide to the Warshaw Collection of Business Americana Subject Categories: Furniture and Furnishings
Portions of this collection are digitized

Collection ID:
Warshaw, Isadore, 1900-1969
circa 1792-1952
Physical Description:
4.71 Cubic feet
consisting of 9 boxes, 5 folders, 13 oversize folders, 1 map case folder, 3 flat boxes (partial), plus digital images of some collection material.
A New York bookseller, Warshaw assembled this collection over nearly fifty years. The Warshaw Collection of Business Americana: Furniture and Furnishings forms part of the Warshaw Collection of Business Americana, Subseries 1.1: Subject Categories. The Subject Categories subseries is divided into 470 subject categories based on those created by Mr. Warshaw. These subject categories include topical subjects, types or forms of material, people, organizations, historical events, and other categories. An overview to the entire Warshaw collection is available here: Warshaw Collection of Business Americana

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
This material consists primarily of scattered correspondence on letterhead stationery, printed advertisements, bills/receipts, advertising cards, illustrated catalogues, price lists, photographs, sales notices, auction notices, import/export documents, patents, business cards, lithographs and fabric samples. Most of these materials are from manufacturers and dealers, however, there are a number of references to interior decorators, upholsters, auctioneers, repairers, varnishers, polishers and furniture associations. Second hand furniture, antiques, and reproductions were available from a number of these companies. A large majority of these Companies offered furniture for the home. There are also some companies which sold furniture and furnishings for business, school, hospital, library, railroad, ship, hotel, hall, opera, invalid and outdoor use.
The types of furnishings available are varied and include carpets, nursery accessories, fireplace mantels, picture frames, mirrors, mattresses, table covers, upholstery, looking glasses, wallpaper, curtains, caskets, stoves, clocks, art, pianos and lamp fixtures, waste baskets, wash stands and wood ornaments.
Among the publications are a number of trade catalogues. Profusely illustrated, these catalogues supply the type of information that is hard to find anywhere else. Such information includes dimensions, prices, type of wood, usefulness of a particular piece and credit terms for payment. There are also a number of articles, periodicals and books. Most of these discuss a particular style of furniture, a particular piece of furniture or interior decoration.
The material is organized by name of company. There are a number of folders arranged by type including images, patents, trademarks, instructions for fitting slip covers, upholstery samples, labels, and legal documents and import/export documents.

Vanessa Broussard-Simmons and Nicole Blechynden
Funding for partial processing of the collection was supported by a grant from the Smithsonian Institution's Collections Care and Preservation Fund (CCPF).
Immediate Source of Acquisition note
Furniture and Furnishings is a portion of the Business Ephemera Series of the Warshaw Collection of Business Americana, Accession AC0060 purchased from Isadore Warshaw in 1967. Warshaw continued to accumulate similar material until his death, which was donated in 1971 by his widow, Augusta. For a period after acquisition, related materials from other sources (of mixed provenance) were added to the collection so there may be content produced or published after Warshaw's death in 1969. This practice has since ceased.
Processing Information
In 2016, with funding provided by the Smithsonian Institution's Collections Care and Preservation Fund, the Archives Center at the National Museum of American History implemented the use of minimal level processing standards to increase information about and facilitate access to more of our collections. A large portion of stored material from the original acquisition received minimal level processing, which resulted in additions to this Subject category. This effort included basic arrangement and replacement of non-archival housing for long-term stability, but staples and other fasteners have not all been removed. Revisions to the encoded finding aid were made to reflect the added content in context to the previously processed material.
Minimal level processing and enhancement of the machine-readable finding aid completed by Nicole Blechynden, September 2017.

Digital Content
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Using the Collection
Preferred Citation note
Warshaw Collection of Business Americana Subject Categories: Furniture and Furnishings, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
Conditions Governing Access note
Collection is open for research. Some items may be restricted due to fragile condition.
Conditions Governing Use note
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.

Materials in the Archives Center
Materials in the Archives Center
Archives Center Collection of Business Americana (AC0404)

Forms Part Of
Forms Part Of

More Information

Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Business ephemera Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ephemera Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Furniture Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
House furnishings Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
P.O. Box 37012
Suite 1100, MRC 601
Washington, D.C. 20013-7012