Folio. 351, pp. Original decorative green wrappers. Book housed in its original richly decorated olive cloth portfolio. Decorative title page. This handsome catalog features the 1929 novelties from American furniture manufacturer Berkey & Gay. Illustrated with hundreds of b/w illustrations, duo-tone photographic reproductions and 20 color photographic reproductions, this work features various furniture models for living rooms, dining rooms, and bedrooms. Moderate shelf wear to portfolio, with spine rubbed along edges. Clear water-staining at lower margin of pages (not affecting text or illustrations). Portfolio in overall good+, interior in good+ to very good condition. Company history: In 1866: George W. Gay becomes partner in Berkey Brothers & Co.; name is changed to Berkey Brothers & Gay; In 1872 William Berkey withdraws from the leadership of the company; 1873: The company is incorporated as Berkey & Gay; 1874: The new six-story factory, with wholesale and retail showrooms, becomes one of Grand Rapids' most prominent structures; 1875: Salesroom opens in New York City; 1876: Berkey & Gay is one of three Grand Rapids companies to win an award for its display at the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition; 1885: Firm advertises nationally, and ships over a half million dollars in goods through out the U.S. and Europe; 1900: Retail operations discontinued; 1911: Berkey & Gay acquires Oriel Cabinet Co.; 1923: Wallace Upholstering Co. and Grand Rapids Upholstering Co. are merged with Berkey & Gay as the Consolidated Furniture Companies; 1929: Simmons Co. of Chicago acquires Berkey & Gay's $10 million in assets, including 5 Grand Rapids plants with 1.5 million square feet of space, and $8 million in annual sales; 1931: Sales decline sharply; Berkey & Gay forced to declare bankruptcy; 1934: Stockholders win $2,000,000 judgment in suit against Simmons, then the largest civil award in history; 1935: Berkey & Gay re-opens under new management; 1948: Company declares bankruptcy - name is purchased by Harvest Furniture Co. of Louisville, Kentucky and production ceases.Many prominent names were associated with this largest of Grand Rapids' residential furniture manufacturers. Brothers William and Julius Berkey were among the first to make the transition from sash and blind milling to furniture production. William H. Gay, the son of an early partner in the business, George Gay, became a prominent leader of both the company and the community, and sat on the boards of m any banks and civic organization. After his death in 1920, George Whitworth and five members of the Wallace family, led by Winfred J. Wallace, took the reins of the company. Under their management several plants were merged into the giant Consolidated Furniture Companies, which had its own newsletter, gymnasium, Americanization classes, sports leagues, and farm. They advertised aggressively directly to consumers in the most highly circulated journals of the day. Cabinetmaker John Frohberg (or Froburgh) may have created designs for Berkey & Gay in the early 1870s. John Keck of Ann Arbor, Michigan, designed Renaissance Revival, Neo-Grec, and Eastlake-style pieces on contract for Berkey & Gay in the 1870s. Louis Bornemann became the company's chief designer some time after the Centennial Exposition, and left to work for Phoenix and finally on his own in 1886. Frederick Koskul and John Mowatt designed for Berkey & Gay between 1877 and 1879. Arthur Kirkpatrick, who grew up in Grand Rapids, received formal art training before he became a designer at Berkey & Gay. He went on to found the Grand Rapids School of Furniture Designing in 1904. Adrian Margantin designed pieces in Golden Oak and Colonial styles for Berkey & Gay from 1898 until his death in 1914. Several designers, including Lachlan MacLachlan in the 1910s and Frank C. Lee in the 1920s, came to Grand Rapids via a sort of "pipeline" from the prestigious Waring & Gillow in London and W. & J. Sloane in New York. They brought w. Bookseller Inventory #
Title: The Berkey & Gay Style Book, August 1929
Publisher: Berkey & Gay Furniture Co
Publication Date: 1929
Book Condition: g+ to vg
Edition: First edition.
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