Category Archives: Homewares

Never Fully Dressed Without a File: Modular Industrial File Cabinets, ca. 1910s

The mortality rate among vintage office furniture is high to say the least. It’s a steady stream of out with the old, in with the new. In most cases, the need for physical files has been superseded altogether by their digital descendents. Streamlining the way we utilize office storage has meant that only in rare circumstances have filing units survived the test of time (and punishment). Our interiors are made all the better for their presence.

John and Wilson Berger started the Berger Manufacturing Co. in Canton, Ohio in 1886, producing lengths of metal conductor pipe in their basement workshop. The United Furnace Company merged with Berger in 1921 and Berloy was born. It quickly developed a strong presence in the market with its lines of shelving, storage, lockers and steel furniture.

The set of eight modular file units pictured possesses its original, dark military- green finish. A patent date of 1918  is embossed, making this a very early production run. Each 26-inch-deep section locks to the one below via a steel rail system and further secures its connection with the closure of a latch located below a rear carry handle. A brass metal card frame adorns the face of each file.

* While a hard drive may be a damn sight smaller and lighter to transport, you’d be hard-pressed to find one as good-looking as this set.

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Point of No Return: Hudson’s Bay Company Blanket, ca. 1930s

Hands ABOVE the blanket please your majesty...

Founded in 1670, The Hudson’s Bay Company introduced the Point blanket in 1780. Initially the blankets were used in the growing fur trade with natives along the Western coast of Canada and the point system was an easy method of categorizing a blanket’s size. Sizes ranged from 1 – 6 and the number of 5″ indigo lines or points were woven into the side of each blanket.

Though the white blanket with green, red and yellow stripes has become the trademark Hudson’s Bay design, the company produced other solid color variations which included light blue, indigo, green and – as is pictured – scarlet; all with a single dark stripe at each end of the blanket.

This example is a 4-point and is still very vibrant in color. These blankets are made with a combination of high quality New Zealand and British wool and manufactured 50% larger and then shrunken to size so that they don’t lose shape after repeated cleaning.

Now, if only it weren’t the first day of summer…