A blog post from 50 years ago

A blog post from 50 years ago

Posted by Michael Krauss on 10th Aug 2016

All wooden store sign, composed by Danny Krauss, hand-lettered & painted (circa 1966) 

The handmade design and fabrication recall the early American store signs, or 'shingles', such as a tinsmith or an apothecary might have outside their door. (Hence the expression, hanging one's shingle.) The scalloped top recalls an Early American Courting Mirror design, done in an 18th century Queen Anne motif.

Sign text, transcribed below:

Early American Lighting Fixtures
For more gracious lighting — The chandeliers on display are typical of more than forty models we make to order. Their designs embrace the Early American, Colonial and Federal periods from 1650 to 1830, and are faithful adptations of lighting devices on display at:

(Click to enlarge photo)
  • The Rhode island School of Design
  • The American Wing — Metropolitan Museum of Art, N.Y.
  • The Historical Society of New York
  • The Shaker Museum, Chatham, new York
  • The Chicago Art Insitute
  • The Shelburne Museum, Shelburne, VermontThe Boston Museum of Fine Arts
  • Winterthur — Wilmington, Delaware
  • The Henry Ford Museum, Dearborn, Michigan.

A number of them have also been adapted from such definitive texts as:

  • “Furniture of the Pilgrim Century”, Wallace Nutting
  • “Shaker Furniture,” Edward and Daith Andrews
  • “Pine furniture of Early New England,” Russel Kettell

While minor variations exist, the character, form and spirit of the original are all encompassed in each model. Wherever feasable, manufacturing operations are hand ones, thus eliminating the artificial feeling created by mass productions techniques. The brass stems, for instance, typical of these hand measures, are individually bent and shaped, using methods employed two centuries ago.

The wood turnings which are used in various forms in most models are hand turned one at a time. They are made from the same types of wood in general use during that period — maple or birch.

In order to duplicate the warm mellow patina which only time can produce, metal parts (solid brass throughout) are left in their original finish — no trace of polish or lacquer. All wood turnings are stained a faded tobacco brown, with a final hand rubbed wax finish. Each fixture is supplied with two feet of suspension chain and capnopy. With few exceptions, candelabra candle sockets are provided to simulate the feeling of the graceful tapers used in Colonial days. Fifteen sixth watt flame type bulbs for them may be inexpensively purchased at any electrical shop.

~ read more about the sign and the early days of Authentic Designs, by Michael Krauss, 2016