Industrial antiques, fridge magnets, history...

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Repurposing Purpose?

What was wrong with converting?  Wasn't that a sufficiently puffy way to say you're turning a library table into a dining table?  Does repurposing add more to the value than converting?

Ok, so maybe repurpose and convert are not synonymous.  Conversion indicates the object has been changed in some way, but you can repurpose without changing.  So if you put a bigger top on the library table, you are converting, but if you haul it home as is and eat dinner on it, it's only been repurposed, and if you then sleep on it, you've repurposed the repurposition.

Glad to have worked that out.

Steel Tops for your Industrial Table Making Project. Wood too!

For several years we've sold vintage industrial machinery bases for table making projects; now we can supply tabletops too.  Initially we're offering steel and wood in two standard sizes and 5 standard colors, as well as custom sizes/colors to suit. 

(We'd like to offer glass but shipping large flat glass is soooooooo costly
that for the time being you're advised to find glass tops in your local market.)

Standard sizes: A meaty 1-3/4" thick x 30" x 30" or 16" x 60"

Select steel or hardwood. 
Wood tops are available in one of 5 colors (below)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Famous Arches

The Arc de Triomphe (Arc de Triomphe de l'√Čtoile)
Honors soldiers from French Revolution, Napoleonic War and WWI.
Designed by Jean Chalgrin.  164’ high.  Completed in 1836.

Delicate Arch, Arches National Park near Moab, Utah
52-foot high
Designed by Mother Nature

Designed by George Dexter, 1953
26’-85’ high


Gateway to the West, Jefferson National Expansion Memorial
St. Louis, Missouri.
Designed by Eero Saarinen. 
630 feet high
Completed 1965

Built by Industrial Chic.  Designed by Marco Polo 
29.5" high x 58" wide x 16" deep x 91 lbs

Monday, June 27, 2011

Uhl Art Steel Company History: The Famous Toledo Drafting Stool

Helping a friend find homes for a large stash of Toledo stools from the chemistry lab at a small college provided an excuse to explore the history of the company that built them.

What came to be known as the Toledo Metal Furniture Company was started as Uhl's Cycle Emporium at 1021-23 Monroe Street in Toledo, Ohio in 1898.  Philip E. Uhl (president) and Clement Richard Uhl (VP/supt) founded the company on $85.  Others of the 10 Uhl brothers joined the firm,including Joseph Ferdinand Louis Uhl (secretary/GM), Otto G., Charles, Henry and Robert Uhl.  Joseph, a 1-legged concert violinist, also directed the family Concert Band and Orchestra.

As the popularity of automobiles reduced the market for bicycles (1900-1910), the Uhls shifted their focus to manufacturing ice cream parlor furniture, renaming the company Uhl Art Steel, and in 1904 incorporating as the Toledo Metal Furniture company.  By 1920 capital stock reached $300,000, there were over 150 employees and the product mix had been expanded to include office and classroom furniture.  

Sets are not easy to find.
This set of four matching Toledo
stools are at chair height. 
Insert table and you're good to go.

According to a 1914
Journal of the National Association
of Retail Druggists
, Clement and Joe designed the unique
locked truss-rail leg assembly of cold rolled steel that
remains a hallmark of the company's furniture (see patent
illustrations below).  In addition to lending a distinctive design element, the truss was important in creating a product with the strength and
durability to endure rugged use by students, telephone
operators, military personnel, draftsmen and ice cream
parlor customers.