Early 20th Century Historic Showers Brothers Walnut Chest of Drawers
Rare and beautiful Art Deco Showers Brothers walnut dresser with soft bow front. There are five drawers with hidden side pulls. Solid mahogany drawer liners and dovetail construction.
Manufactured in the late 1930's/early 1940's, the design was ahead of its time - sleek, modern with minimalist design when most furniture being manufactured at the time was more ornate. This piece has been authenticated by the Monroe County History Center in Bloomington, Indiana.
About Showers Brothers (excerpt taken from the book 'Showers Brothers Furniture Company: A Shared Fortune of a Family, a City, and a University' by Carrol Krause):
When the Showers family arrived in Bloomington, Indiana, the railroad had only recently come to town and a modest university was struggling to survive. Having spent the prior 18 years moving from place to place, the family decided to settle down and invest its modest resources to start a furniture company. The business proved to be extremely profitable and a stroke of good fortune for the small community. The company’s success strengthened Bloomington's infrastructure, helping to develop new neighborhoods, and the philanthropic acts of the Showers family supported the town’s continued development. The family’s contributions helped Indiana University through difficult times and paved the way to its becoming the largest university in the state.
By the mid 1920s, Showers Brothers Furniture Company was at its peak. Paying one-fourth of all the tax revenue in Bloomington, it produced 16 train-car loads of furniture a day to be shipped out across the world. The Sears Catalogue featured Showers Brothers Furniture, which helped fuel the worldwide demand. Many at the time claimed that Showers Brother Furniture was "the largest furniture factory in the world."
With the onset of the Great Depression, Showers Brothers Furniture continued to expand. They were awarded a contract to produce furniture for the US Army during World War II. During the same period, the furniture industry moved south, capitalizing on cheap labor. There was also a movement to trucking as the preferred shipping method that Showers Brothers Furniture didn't adopt. When they failed to invest in updated equipment, Showers Brothers Furniture found it difficult to compete in the new economy. Ultimately, they sold their assets to the Stork Line Furniture Company of Chicago. Stork Line continued to operate the factory for three years until they closed shop in 1958. The factory was sold to Indiana University and most of it was destroyed in a 1969 fire. The only survivor was Factory Number 1, which was used for storage until Indiana University, CFC and the City of Bloomington renovated it in the early 1990s.
Brand: Showers Brothers
Period: Early 20th Century
Styles: Art Deco, Minimalist, Modern
Place of Origin: United States
Materials: Walnut, Mahogany
Condition: Excellent Vintage Condition, Original Unaltered
Damage or Points of Notice: Excellent antique condition appropriate with age and light use. No imperfections noted.
Dimensions: 36"W x 20.5"D x 50"H
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