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Michael Tho. Reynolds Upholsterer & Furniture Maker Papers - MS 571

Introduction | Agency History | Scope and Content | Series Description | Inventory

 Introduction

The Michael Tho. Reynolds Upholsterer Collection begins in 1979 and continues to the present. This collection includes approximately 24 cubic feet of documents. Three cubic feet of correspondence and financial records (general ledgers, itemized workbooks, inventories, financial papers and trade journals). The general ledgers are closed to researchers and the financial papers from 1991 to present are unavailable for research. Trade journals may be used by researchers but any duplication and quoting from these journals must include crediting Michael Tho. Reynolds. Six cubic feet of the collection is devoted to printed materials: upholstering journals, magazines, catalogs, price lists and books focusing upon upholstering, furniture and the decorative arts. Less than one half cubic foot includes photographs of various upholstering projects. Fabric sample/job records comprise 15 cubic feet of the collection and certain financial data, photographs, swatches, and other documentation for specific upholstering jobs. Miscellaneous historic fabric and upholstering samples are included for research purposes.

The collection was donated to the Center for Archival Collections in March 1990 with the assistance of Ann M. Bowers, Assistant Director. The finding aid was completed by Eric Honneffer in January 2005 and revised and updated in November 2010.

 Agency History

Reynolds Upholstering is a one man upholstering and furniture making business operating out of the Michael Tho. Reynolds home near Wayne, Ohio since approximately 1979. The business offers a great variety of upholstering services but specializes in the use of traditional, handcrafted upholstering methods for historic furniture. Mr. Reynolds' collection includes not only financial and business records but also a detailed accounting of work completed on various upholstering jobs and where possible, a record of historically significant upholstering details from particular projects for purposes of study and research of the history of the craft. Details about his furniture design and construction commissions are also found in the collection.

 Scope and Content

The Michael Tho. Reynolds Upholsterer and Furniture Maker Collection is comprised of approximately 24 cubic feet of correspondence, financial records, printed materials such as catalogs and upholstering journals, books, photographs and artifactual fabric swatches.

Correspondence comprises only .5 cubic feet of the collection beginning in about 1980 to the present. This is broken into such categories as customers, donations of historic upholstering artifacts to organizations, research interests, government issues and suppliers. The supplier correspondence is mostly mail and catalog information sent to Mr. Reynolds. His trade journals or notes on how he completes certain upholstering techniques (1989-1998) are placed at the end of the correspondence. The descriptions in these provide insights into Mr. Reynolds great interest in traditional hand done upholstering technique. The correspondence for certain customer projects shows how Mr. Reynolds works with various organizations and private citizens and how detailed he documents that work. The correspondence is closed to researchers. The trade journals may be used by researchers but Michael Thomas Reynolds must be credited if information is duplicated or quoted.

The financial records comprise 2.5 cubic feet of the collection and include general ledgers, itemized workbooks (with contract and inventory information), and financial papers (invoices, receipts, bills). These records begin in 1979 and run to the present (the itemized workbooks begin in 1989). Some financial data is also included later in the fabric sample/job records-usually customer invoices with each job. Mr. Reynolds meticulously documents details of various business transactions whether with his customers or with his suppliers. One can possibly research the kinds of jobs being done, the kinds of materials needed, costs of these jobs and what supplies have become obsolete or cannot be obtained any longer.

Printed materials comprise 6 cubic feet of the collection and include upholstering magazines, journals, catalogs, price lists, miscellaneous directories, articles and books mostly from the 1980's to the present. Using the catalogs one could trace the availability and cost of certain supplies over time and could also observe how the trade has changed as products are no longer offered. The books represent upholstering and decorative arts, textile and furniture topics. They date from the 19th century to the present and are reflective of Mr. Reynolds' vast interest in various handcrafts/trades.

Photographs comprise less than half of one cubic foot of the collection and include negatives, contact prints and slides of upholstering projects accompanied by identification of some images. These document jobs before, during and after upholstering is completed. Additional photographs of this kind are included in the fabric sample/job records. The above photographs date from approximately the 1980's and 1990's.

The largest record series, the fabric sample/job records, comprise 15 cubic feet of the collection beginning in 1990 and running to the present. These document individual jobs for customers throughout any given year and often include swatches of original fabrics removed from furniture, swatches of replacement fabric, photographs, invoices and the like.

Three oversized boxes include historic fabrics and supplies, needlepoint designs and the like removed from furniture during reupholstering. Three fragments of historic wallpaper have been encapsulated and are included among the oversized materials in the collection.

 Series Description

CORRESPONDENCE

CORRESPONDENCE
1980-present
Arranged by categories and then chronologically
Most of the correspondence focuses on supplier mail and catalog information. Some customer thank you cards and job particulars are included along with miscellaneous research interests, organization memberships and donations of historic upholstering artifacts to various institutions.

LITERARY PRODUCTIONS

TRADE JOURNALS
1989-2005
Arranged chronologically
Mr. Reynolds' notes on how he completed certain upholstering techniques.

FINANCIAL DOCUMENTS (some are closed to researchers)

GENERAL LEDGERS (closed to researchers)
1979-present
Arranged chronologically
The general ledgers provide a comprehensive financial picture of the business at a particular time.

ITEMIZED WORKBOOKS
1989-present
Arranged chronologically
These workbooks include inventory details and contract information relative to particular jobs.

ADDRESS BOOK
1985-1990
Includes more account information and was kept with financial documents.

FINANCIAL PAPERS (1991 to present closed to researchers)
1979-present
Arranged chronologically
These financial papers include invoices, receipts and bills.

PRINTED MATERIAL

UPHOLSTERING JOURNALS AND MAGAZINES
1988-present
Arranged by title
Some of these may only have a single issue. With these are included membership directories and miscellaneous upholstering articles and booklets.

CATALOGS AND PRICE LISTS
1980's-present
Arranged by categories of suppliers
These include literature from wooden furniture frame manufacturers, fabric, leather, other suppliers and some samples.

BOOKS
1867-present
Books are arranged by such topics as upholstering, decorative arts, textiles, furniture and miscellaneous.

PHOTOGRAPHIC MATERIALS

NEGATIVES, CONTACT PRINTS, SLIDES
1980's and 1990's
No arrangement
Negatives, contact prints, and slides of upholstery projects often taken before, during and after job completion. Some identification is provided. Additional job photographs can be found in the fabric sample/job records.

ARTIFACTS

FABRIC SAMPLE/JOB RECORDS
1990-present
Arranged chronologically
These include swatches of original fabrics removed from furniture swatches of replacement fabric, before, during and after photographs, invoices and the like. These document individual jobs for customers throughout any given year.

OVERSIZED SAMPLES
19th and 20th century
Include historic fabrics, supplies, needlepoint designs and the like removed form furniture during reupholstering. These are labeled by Mr. Reynolds for research purposes. Caution must be exercised in handling these items. Also included are several historic wallpaper fragments.

 Inventory

Box 1

Folder

  1. Correspondence: Customers - Dearborn Historical Museum, 3/25/1990-6/16/1995
  2. Correspondence: Customers - General, 5/26/1987
  3. Correspondence: Customers - Wood County Historical Society, 7/1988-3/1/1990
  4. Correspondence: Donations Made to Institutions, 6/8/1980, 2/23/1990
  5. Correspondence: Memberships, 7/1/1988-
  6. Correspondence: Research - Furniture Reproductions 3/29/1990, 4/10/1990
  7. Correspondence: Research - Ohio Historic Preservation Office, 5/22/1980-1/22/1988
  8. Correspondence: Research - Looms and Weaving, 9/6/1989, 3/26/1990
  9. Correspondence: Research - General (Book Purchases, etc.), 1988-1996
  10. Correspondence: Reynolds' Upholstering Ads, 1989 -
  11. Correspondence: State and Federal Government Issues 6/1981, 10/2/1995-10/27/1998 -
  12. Correspondence: Suppliers - Custom Furniture Frames, 1989 -
  13. Correspondence: Suppliers - Fabrics and Supplies, 1989 -
  14. Correspondence: Supplies - Leather, 1994 -
  15. Correspondence: Supplies - Sewing Manuals, 1996 -
  16. Correspondence: Supplies - Miscellaneous, 1981 -
  17. Trade Journal, # 1, 1989-1991
  18. Trade Journal, # 2, 1992-2005 scattered

Box 2: Financial Documents

Folder

  1. General Ledger, 1979, 6/1981-2/1988 (CLOSED)
  2. General Ledger, 1/1988-12/1999 (CLOSED)
  3. Itemized Workbook (Volume 1) - Contracts/Inventory, 10/1989-6/1991
  4. Itemized Workbook (Volume 2) - Contracts/Inventory, 6/1991-7/1994
  5. Itemized Workbook (Volume 3) - Contracts/Inventory, 7/1994-1/1997
  6. Itemized Workbook (Volume 4) - Contracts/Inventory, 1/1997-2/2000
  7. Itemized Workbook (Volume 5) – Contracts/Inventory, 2/2000-9/2007
  8. Address Book With Some Account Information, 1985-1990

Box 3: Financial Documents

Folder

  1. Financial Papers (Invoices, Receipts, Bills), 1979-1983
  2. Financial Papers (Invoices, Receipts, Bills), 1984
  3. Financial Papers (Invoices, Receipts, Bills), 1985
  4. Financial Papers (Invoices, Receipts, Bills), 1986
  5. Financial Papers (Invoices, Receipts, Bills), 1986
  6. Financial Papers (Invoices, Receipts, Bills), 1987
  7. Financial Papers (Invoices, Receipts, Bills), 1987

Box 4: Financial Documents

Folder

  1. Financial Papers (Invoices, Receipts, Bills), 1988
  2. Financial Papers (Invoices, Receipts, Bills), 1988
  3. Financial Papers (Invoices, Receipts, Bills), 1989
  4. Financial Papers (Invoices, Receipts, Bills), 1/1990-2/1990
  5. Financial Papers (Invoices, Receipts, Bills), 3/1990-4/1990
  6. Financial Papers (Invoices, Receipts, Bills), 5/1990-6/1990
  7. Financial Papers (Invoices, Receipts, Bills), 7/1990-8/1990
  8. Financial Papers (Invoices, Receipts, Bills), 9/1990-10/1990
  9. Financial Papers (Invoices, Receipts, Bills), 11/1990-12/1990

Box 5: Financial Documents, 1991-1996 (Closed to Researchers)

Box 6: Financial Documents, 1997-2008 (Closed to Researchers)

Box 7: Upholstering Journals and Magazines

Folder

  1. The Professional Upholsterer, 1988-1989
  2. Upholstering Today, 1990
  3. Victorian Homes, Winter 1991
  4. Swatches, Winter 1993
  5. Early American Life, June 1984
  6. Upholstery Journal, 1999-2001

Box 8: Upholstering Journals and Magazines /Membership Directories and Other Upholstering Publications

Folder

  1. Upholstery Journal, 2006-2008
  2. Upholstery Journal, 2008-2010
  3. Upholstery Journal, 2010
  4. Marine Fabricator, July 2006, April 2007
  5. Directory of the Society of Workers in Early Arts & Trades, 1991-1993
  6. Directory of Early American Industries Association, 1991-1992, 1992-1993
  7. "Reupholstering A Chair at Home," Bulletin #45, Ohio State Cooperative Extension Services, n.d.
  8. Miscellaneous Upholstering Articles and Booklets 1995 -

Box 9: Catalogs and Price Lists

Folder

  1. Custom Furniture Frames - Bechtel, 1989 -
  2. Custom Furniture Frames - Chervan, Inc., 1988 -
  3. Custom Furniture Frames - Hickory, et.al., 1996 -
  4. Fabrics and Supplies - Sunshine Foam, 1990 -
  5. Fabrics and Supplies - Matthew Hinsman, 1989 -
  6. Fabrics and Supplies - Koch and Company, 1990 –

Box 10: Catalogs and Price Lists

Folder

  1. Fabric and Supplies - Burch Fabrics, 1988 -
  2. Fabrics and Supplies - J. J. Peiger Company, 1989 -
  3. Fabrics and Supplies - Larson Fabrics, 1987 -
  4. Fabrics and Supplies - Conso, 1991 -
  5. Fabrics and Supplies – Albany Foam and other cushion/pillow suppliers, 2005-

Box 11: Catalogs and Price Lists

Folder

  1. Fabric and Supplies - Osbourne-Berbecker, C.S. Osborne & Company, 1988 -
  2. Fabrics and Supplies - Miscellaneous, 1989-
  3. Leather and Supplies - Various, 1988-
  4. Van Dyke's Restorers' Wholesale Catalog, 1989 -

Box 12: Catalogs and Samples

Folder

  1. Van Dyke's Restorers' Wholesale Catalog, 2000 -
  2. Fabrics and Supplies - Conso Samples, n.d.
  3. Miscellaneous Samples, n.d.

Box 13: Books - Upholstering Topics

Items

  1. Upholstering for Everyone by Page Parker & Alice Forina, 1976
  2. Upholstering Home Furniture by Blanche Romick Pope, 1949
  3. All About Upholstering by John Bergen, 1952
  4. All About Upholstering by John Bergen, 1962
  5. Essentials of Upholstery by Herbert Bast, 1928
  6. Upholstery Techniques Illustrated by W. Lloyd Gheen, 1986
  7. Furniture Upholstery and Repair by James B. Johnstone, 1977
  8. Upholstery, Drapes and Slip Covers by Dorothy Wagner, 1955
  9. Practical Upholstering and the Cutting of Slip Covers by Frederick Palmer, 1980
  10. How to Upholster Overstuffed and Occasional Chairs by Louise Woodruff, et.al., 1969
  11. Upholstering Methods by Fred W. Zimmerman, 1981
  12. Upholstering by James E. Brumbaugh, 1973
  13. Upholstering by James E. Brumbaugh, 1986
  14. Upholstery in America and Europe from the 17th Century to W.W.I. by Edward S. Cooke, Jr., Editor, 1987
  15. Restoring and Reupholstering Furniture by Kenneth Davis, et.al. 1982
  16. How to Repair, Reupholster and Refinish Furniture by Mel Marshall, 1979
  17. Modernizing and Repairing Upholstered Furniture by Herbert Bast, 1956
  18. How to Restore and Repair Furniture by Alan Smith, Editor, 1988
  19. Tufting Secrets by John K. Burch Company, n.d.

Box 14: Books - Furniture and Textile Decorative Arts

Items

  1. Perspectives on American Furniture by Gerald W. R. Ward, Editor, 1988
  2. Henredon's 18th Century Portfolio (furniture catalog), n.d.
  3. Pennsylvania House (furniture catalog), n.d.
  4. Antique Wicker Furniture by Conover Hills, 1975
  5. The Couch Book by Fayal Greene, 1993
  6. The Cabinet Maker in Eighteenth-Century Williamsburg, 1970
  7. Chair Seat Weaving for Antique Chairs by Marion Burr Sober, 1981
  8. Cane Seats, Splint Seats, Rush Seats for Chairs by John K. Burch Company, n.d.
  9. American Decorative Arts from the Pilgrims to the Revolution by The Detroit Institute of Art, 1996
  10. The Textile Tools of Colonial Homes by Marion L. Channing, 1971
  11. Hand Knotted Rug Weaving by Paternayan Brothers, Inc., 1957
  12. A Century of Carpet and Rug Making in America by Bigelow-Hartford Carpet Company, 1925
  13. The Weaver's Draft Book and Clothiers' Assistant (reprint) John Hargrove, 1979
  14. Early American Weaving and Dyeing by J. and R. Bronson, 1977
  15. Linen: the Emblem of Elegance by W. D. Darby, 1926
  16. Homespun and Blue: A Study of American Crewel Embroidery by Martha Genung Stearns, 1963
  17. Encyclopedia of Victorian Needlework (reprint), Volumes 1 & 2 by S. F. A. Caulfield, 1972
  18. Victorian House Style by Linda Osband, 1992
  19. Empire Stylebook of Interior Design (reprint) by Charles Percier and Pierre Fontaine, 1991
  20. Bed Hangings: A Treatise on Fabrics and Styles in the Curtaining of Beds 1650-1850 (reprint) compiled by Abbott Lowell Cummings, 1961
  21. The Interior Designers Drapery, Bedspread and Canopy Sketchfile, Marjorie Borradaile Helsel, Editor, 1990
  22. The Complete Book of Bedroom Elegance by Lady Caroline Way, 1994
  23. Modern Priscilla Home Furnishing Book by The Priscilla Publishing Company, 1925
  24. How to Beautify Your Home by Helen Koues, 1930
  25. The Sewing Manual for Home Decorators by Coats & Clark, n.d.
  26. Pressler, Rudolf/Straub, Robin, "Biedermeier Furniture", 1996. Schiffer Publishing Ltd., Altglen, PA

Box 15: Books - Miscellaneous Related Topics

Items

  1. Finishing and Mounting Your Needlepoint Pieces by Katherine Ireys, 1973
  2. Whips and Whipmaking by David W. Morgan, 1972
  3. Of Plates and Purlins: Grandpa Builds A Barn by Elliot M. Sayward, 1971
  4. An Inventory of the Contents of the Governor's Palace Taken After the Death of Lord Botetourt by The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, 1981
  5. The Lady's Guide to Plain Sewing by a Lady (Kathleen Kannik), 1993
  6. Fabrics and Dress by Lucy Rathbone, et.al, 1931
  7. Old-Time Crafts and Trades by Peter Stockham, Editor, 1992
  8. In Small Things Forgotten by James Deetz, 1977
  9. How the World is Clothed by Frank George Carpenter, 1908
  10. Forrest Products: Their Manufacture and Use by Nelson Courtland & Brown, 1919
  11. Art of Dressmaking by Butterick, 1927
  12. How to Build Modern Furniture by Mario Dal Faboro, 1957
  13. The Craftsman's Handbook - The Italian 'Il Libro Dell' Arte' (reprint) by Cennino d' Andrea Cennini, reprint of 1933 edition, n.d.
  14. A History of Metals in Colonial America by James A. Mulholland, 1981
  15. The Old Herb Doctor: An Old Catalogue of Traditional Folk Remedies by Newcastle Publishing Company, 1981
  16. Saddlemaking by Dusty Johnson, 1993
  17. Every Day Life in the Massachusetts Bay Colony (reprint) by George Francis Dow, 1988
  18. Archaeological Excavations at Jamestown, Virginia by John L. Cotter, 1958
  19. Search for the Cittie of Ralegh by Jean Carl Harrington, 1962
  20. Traditional Marbling by Iris Nevins, 1988
  21. The Coach Painter 1880 (reprint) by the Museum at Stony Brook, 1983
  22. Leary's Ready Reckoner and Form Book by W. A. Leary, Jr., 1867

Box 16: Photographic Material

  1. Negatives, Contact Prints and Slides of Upholstering Projects With Number Identification Listing, c.1980s, 1990s

Box 17: Fabric Sample/Job Records

  1. Fabric Sample/Job Records (jobs completed), 1990

Box 18: Fabric Sample/Job Records

  1. Fabric Sample/Job Records (jobs completed), 1/1991-8/1991

Box 19: Fabric Sample/Job Records

  1. Fabric Sample/Job Records (jobs completed as of date listed), 8/1991-6/1992

Box 20: Fabric Sample/Job Records

  1. Fabric Sample/Job Records (jobs completed), 7/1992-5/1993

Box 21: Fabric Sample/Job Records

  1. Fabric Sample/Job Records (jobs completed), 5/1993-9/1993

Box 22: Fabric Sample/Job Records

  1. Fabric Sample/Job Records (jobs completed), 5/1993-11/1993

Box 23: Fabric Sample/Job Records

  1. Fabric Sample/Job Records (jobs completed), 10/1993-3/1994

Box 24: Fabric Sample/Job Records

  1. Fabric Sample/Job Records (jobs completed), 3/1994-7/1994

Box 25: Fabric Sample/Job Records

  1. Fabric Sample/Job Records (jobs completed), 7/1994-10/1994

Box 26: Fabric Sample/Job Records

  1. Fabric Sample/Job Records (jobs completed), 11/1994-3/1995

Box 27: Fabric Sample/Job Records

  1. Fabric Sample/Job Records (jobs completed), 3/1995-6/1995

Box 28: Fabric Sample/Job Records

  1. Fabric Sample/Job Records (jobs completed), 6/1995-9/15/1995

Box 29: Fabric Sample/Job Records

  1. Fabric Sample/Job Records (jobs completed), 9/15/1995-3/1/1996

Box 30: Fabric Sample/Job Records

  1. Fabric Sample/Job Records (jobs completed), 3/7/1996-8/8/1996

Box 31: Fabric Sample/Job Records

  1. Fabric Sample/Job Records (jobs completed), 8/9/1996-4/21/1997

Box 32: Fabric Sample/Job Records

  1. Fabric Sample/Job Records (jobs completed), 5/8/1997-10/28/1997

Box 33: Fabric Sample/Job Records

  1. Fabric Sample/Job Records (jobs completed), 10/29/1997-7/31/1998

Box 34: Fabric Sample/Job Records

  1. Fabric Sample/Job Records (jobs completed), 8/20/1998-12/31/1998

Box 35: Fabric Sample/Job Records

  1. Fabric Sample/Job Records (jobs completed), 1/1999-10/1999

Box 36: Fabric Sample/Job Records

  1. Fabric Sample/Job Records (jobs completed), 11/1999-5/2000

Box 37: Fabric Sample/Job Records

  1. Fabric Sample/Job Records (jobs completed), 5/2000-11/2000

Box 38: Fabric Sample/Job Records

  1. Fabric Sample/Job Records (jobs completed), 12/2000-7/20/2001

Box 39: Fabric Sample/Job Records

  1. Fabric Sample/Job Records (jobs completed), 7/30/2001-1/31/2002

Box 40: Fabric Sample/Job Records

  1. Fabric Sample/Job Records (jobs completed), 2/1/2002-9/28/2002

Box 41: Fabric Sample/Job Records

  1. Fabric Sample/Job Records (jobs completed), 10/15/2002-2/27/2003

Box 42: Fabric Sample/Job Records

  1. Fabric Sample/Job Records (jobs completed), 3/25/2003-2/2004

Oversize Box 1: Fabrics and Supplies

These boxes include historical fabrics and supplies, needlepoint coverings and the like removed from furniture during reupholstering. These are labeled by Mr. Reynolds for research purposes. These samples are however often fragile, dirty and include sharp tacks. Use caution and care when handling.

  1. Edge roll, c.1935-1940
  2. Muslin undercore, c.1870-1880
  3. Hand stitched edge roll, c.1870-1880

Oversize Box 2

These boxes include historical fabrics and supplies, needlepoint coverings and the like removed from furniture during reupholstering. These are labeled by Mr. Reynolds for research purposes. These samples are however often fragile, dirty and include sharp tacks. Use caution and care when handling.

  1. Moquette, c.1890
  2. Webbing support system, c.1950's-1960's
  3. Needlepoint removed from a stool, n.d.
  4. English narrow jute webbing, c.1920
  5. Chair cover, c.1860
  6. Original and subsequent cover for lady's chair, c.1860
  7. Lawn case and muslin case for chair, c.1860
  8. Foundation burlap and muslin for rococo revival chair, c.1860
  9. Velvet cover on cotton, c.1910

Oversize Box 3

These boxes include historical fabrics and supplies, needlepoint coverings and the like removed from furniture during reupholstering. These are labeled by Mr. Reynolds for research purposes. These samples are however often fragile, dirty and include sharp tacks. Use caution and care when handling.

  1. Needlepoint chair cover, c.1913
  2. Horsehair cloth sample, n.d.
  3. Fabric from dining room chair, n.d.
  4. Fabric from slip seat, c.1950
  5. Fabric from lady's armchair, c.1900
  6. Fabric and trim from chair, c.1880
  7. Early narrow jute webbing from Victorian chair, n.d.
  8. Wool fringe from chair, c.1885
  9. Samples of jute and hair stuffing and various fabrics, twines and webbing, n.d.
  10. Historic remnant from Leatherman Tete-A-Tete (See Trade Journal, Volume 2), n.d.

Oversized Box 4

Items

  1. Decorative upholstering nail poster, 2007
  2. Broadside - Upholstering Hand Tool and Supply Chart, John K. Burch Company, n.d.
  3. Wallpaper fragments, n.d.

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