Winooski Vermont Hard Rock Maple Catalog - Wood Cover

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  • Item Category: Advertising
  • Source: eBay
  • Sold Date: Jun 09,2011
  • Channel: Online Auction

Offered for sale in this auction is a one of a kind 1937 Vermont Manufacturing Company Inc (Winooski Vermont / VT) Solid Vermont Hard Rock Maple Furniture Catalog. A unique piece of Vermont history is captured in this catalog made with a hard rock maple bound cover. Included in the catalog are 10 fold out sales booklets and a price guide. I am a Cushman Colonial Collector (Bennington Vermont) and was drawn to this piece at a flea market in Belgium (of all places). I was going to use this in my cabin, as a unique scrap book, but I don't have the space.

In 1934 the Richard Manufacturing Company changed its name to Vermont Furniture Company and registered its trademark maple leaf inscribed with the words “Solid Rock Maple made in Vermont for generations”. The product line was expanded to now include furniture to fit every room in the house and with the employment of the service of Mr. Mario Clavarino another master carver. A penthouse studio was built on the top of the Vermont Furniture Company building to be the office and work area exclusively for Mr. Clavarino to create and to provide a place to rest. Mr. Clavarino was dedicated to his job and seldom left the premises.

As the work force reached up to 300 people, Vermont Furniture Company became one of the largest employers in the city. It was at this time that shop superintendent Arthur Alarie and machinist Leonard Dubuc fabricated a multiple spindle carving machine, powered by a bicycle, capable of producing eight copies at a time from a single original. One of the master carvers would create an original that would be mounted on a machine bed and a stylus would trace the pattern’s every outline and contour and guide the eight cutters to follow the same motion over the surface of the eight blanks. The duplicates were then removed from the machine and finished with additional hand carvings and sanded smooth.

In 1946 Mr. Richard leased the space, machinery, and company to a group of investors out of New Jersey . Mr. Richard remained as president and maintained an office at the Malletts Bay location till his death in 1966. Upon his death Mr. Richard’s daughters, Priscilla and Bertha, took a more active role in the everyday business of the company. The company continued to manufacture its fine line of furniture and gain worldwide recognition and with the railroad siding was able to expedite their products worldwide.

On July 25, 1973, the Vermont Furniture Company burned to the ground, in a devastating blaze. The fire started in the lacquer room and quickly consumed the entire plant. Firemen from as far away as Plainfield and Swanton were on hand as part of the 300 firemen there to assist in fighting the blaze. Many firemen who fought the blaze said they were hampered in their efforts by the lack of water pressure to fight the fire. With the lack of water pressure and the knowledge that saving the business was no longer possible, the firemen turned their efforts into saving the houses that surrounded the business. The fire could not have come at a worst time, as Winooski was in the middle its Model City rebuilding program and employment was already very high. The fire at Vermont Furniture Company put 250 – 300 people out of a job. Through the years since this fire, many different businesses have occupied this space and the current tenant of the space is the Winooski Community Center .

Thanks to Al Blondin of the Winooski Historical Society for the History of this company!

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