librola.jpgOur Local History: A Conversation about the Wood Furniture Industry in Jamestown

Join fellow community members as we discuss one of Jamestown's best know industries. Local researcher of the industry & the people involved.

Example of Road Map to Collections Pertaining to this Presentation:

2. Scroll down on left to Using Primary Sources
4. In light blue header, click on Finding Primary Sources
6. Scroll down to Browse by Topic
8. Because we are interested in business and industry, under the Topic Science, Technology & Business we clicked on Business & Industry ...
10. There a topic of interest was National Child Labor Committee Collection
12. The best way to see collections we saw was through **Arrangement and Access** where there is a handy list of topics.
13. MILLS (1,815 photographic prints in 7 albums) looked interesting. At the end of the summary is [retrieve images from this LOT]
14. Then clicked on Preview Images and the thumbnails of the photographs appear.

History of Fancher Chair, 200 years of local furniture manufacturing.

Robert Dennis Collection:

12,000 photographs of the Mid-Atlantic states New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut from the 1850s to the 1910s, from the Robert N. Dennis Collection of Stereoscopic Views at the New York Public Library. The views show buildings and street scenes in cities, towns, and villages as well as natural landscapes. They also depict agriculture, industry, transportation, homes, businesses, local celebrations, natural disasters, people, and costumes.

Built in America:

Built in America: Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record/Historic American Landscapes Survey, 1933-Present, contains the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) and the Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) and the Historic American Landscapes Survey (HALS). These three collections include measured drawings, large-format photographs, and written histories for more than 35,000 historic structures and sites in the United States dating from the seventeenth to the twentieth centuries. The buildings, landscape design and engineering technologies in the collections range from windmills and one-room schoolhouses to the Golden Gate Bridge and buildings designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.


Architecture and Interior Design for 20th Century America: Photographs by Samuel Gottscho and William Schleisner , 1935-1955 is an extensive archive from architectural photographers Samuel H. Gottscho and William H. Schleisner documents building styles and trends throughout the nation. The collection also records interiors of middle- and upper-class society homes. Special features include images of the 1939 New York World's Fair and gardens of prominent property owners.

Clair Carlson Background: I started doing research on the book in the winter of 2000. Two of three volumes on THE HISTORY OF CHAUTAUQUA COUNTY AND ITS PEOPLE that I had in my personal library was my starting point. After scanning and making notes I had 53 furniture companies listed from 1816 to 1921. With that many companies I knew this was going to be an important industry in Jamestown. My dad was a cabinetmaker in Jamestown and I recognized some of the factories listed. I next moved on to the Fenton History Center library to see what more I could discover.
Five years later using 23 bibliography references, talking to a number of Jamestown residents, compiling over 75 pictures and having 112 companies detailed and another 50 mentioned I had enough notes gathered to write a book that covers furniture manufacturing in Jamestown from 1816 to 1930. The book would be called HISTORY IN WOOD the furniture industry in Jamestown 1816 - 1930.
My background is manufacturing not book writing having worked as a purchasing buyer and material manager for 35 years. I have purchased a number of furniture parts such as backpanels, drawer parts, handles and pulls. My Dad gave me a background in the building and finishing of hand made furniture although I am not a cabinetmaker.
I am a local historian and a member of the Fenton History Center Board. A member of the Historical Marker Committee for the City of Jamestown, a speaker for clubs, schools and organizations on furniture history and how important this industry was to the development of Jamestown, a tour guide of our local cemetery and some of the founding fathers as well as a tour outside the cemetery on the early development of Jamestown.
As a closing note this adventure into book writing and the history of furniture manufacturing has been a wonderful work of giving back to the city I love and the talented men and women we have here whose ancestors were true artisans.