American Furniture Industries Survey Collection

Collection ID:
Woodward, Inc.
Vaughan Furniture Co., The.
Steelcase, Inc.
Lane Company, The.
Kessler Industries, Inc.
Jasper Cabinet Co.
Howland, Richard H., Dr. (special assistant to the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution (1978-1979))
Hooker Furniture Corp.
Furniture World.
American Heirloom Galleries.
Drexel Heritage Furnishings
Broyhill Industries.
Century Furniture Co., Inc.
Bass Brothers Furniture Co.
Physical Description:
4 Cubic feet
10 boxes

Scope and Contents note
Scope and Contents note
The collection consists of the raw materials (completed schedules and catalogues) for a survey of material of historical interest and importance associated with American furniture manufacturers. There is a folder for each of the approximately 210 furniture manufacturing companies asked to participate in the survey, filed alphabetically by company.
Nearly all of the material has been kept in the original folders (not acid free) which are filed alphabetically by company. It is in excellent condition (1988) but should be transferred to acid free folders if a decision to keep it indefinitely is made).

This collection is arranged alphabetically by company name.

Biographical/Historical note
Biographical/Historical note
This collection constitutes the raw materials from an attempt to survey the archival holdings of American furniture manufacturers which was undertaken by the office of Dr. Richard H. Howland, Special Assistant to the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution in 1978-1979. The survey was intended as a preliminary study of industry owned collections and the possibility of a repository for such material. A letter and schedule were sent to approximately 210 furniture companies in the summer of 1979. In some instances follow up letters were sent in the fall. Each company was asked to complete a single page schedule and to send a catalogue if available.
Of the approximately 210 companies which received schedules, over 100 companies failed to respond. Forty five schedules were returned and more then 60 companies provided catalogues. Several companies sent brochures, pamphlets or annual reports in addition to or in lieu of catalogues. A few folders contain correspondence relating to prospective visits by the project director, or to preliminary plans for the survey.
The material received was not analyzed and no formal report was written. Funding did not materialize and the project was discontinued.
David A. Hanks, who worked on various projects under Dr. Howland's sponsorship before moving to New York in 1979 and Mrs. Johanna Rieg, a volunteer, worked on the project.
Page 5 of David Hanks paper before the Decorative Arts Archives Conference held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on October 21, 1979 refers to a report by Mrs. Rieg on the initial findings of the survey. A telephone conversation with Mrs. Rieg March 2, 1988 indicated that her statement was an informal one not a written paper. At that time the project was not far enough along for any significant data to be available.

Grace M. Angle
Custodial History
Collection transferred by the Office of the Special Assistant to the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution to the Division of Domestic Life (now Division of Cultural and Community Life), 1983; transferred to the Archives Center, January 19, 1988.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Immediate source of acquisition unknown.
Processing Information
Processed by Grace M. Angle, volunteer, 1988.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Use
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Reproduction permission from Archives Center: fees for commercial use.
Conditions Governing Access
The collection is open for research use.
Preferred Citation
American Furniture Industries Survey Collection, 1978-1980, Archives Center, National Museum of American History

More Information

Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Schedules Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Furniture industry and trade Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sales catalogs Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
advertising Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Business -- History Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
National Museum of American History (U.S.). Division of Domestic Life Corporate Name 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