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Pringle Furniture: 1912

Pringle Furniture: 1912

Detroit, Michigan, circa 1912. "Pringle Furniture Co. showroom with tables and miscellaneous furniture." Our second peek behind the scenes at this eerily deserted furniture emporium. 8x10 inch glass negative. View full size.


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Tipping hazard

That bookshelf at the left looks like a major tipping hazard! It's so skinny, you'd definitely have to place your heaver books on first and on the bottom.

A lot of the tables seemed to be folded over (center, third item back, and then two items to the left of that). Do these have legs that flip down so they open into larger tables for dining, or are they something else?

Anyone know the purpose of the three-sectioned item on the table in the center?

I wish I could find these today.

My wife and I have been searching for a secretary/butler's desk like the one at front right, or even a nice rolltop desk, but they just aren't to be found in our area. And, as noted above, most furniture today is of the particle board variety.


The Bauhaus and mid-century modernism couldn't have come soon enough.

At no charge

Dust, and if you're really lucky, sawdust!

Not Much Better

This display is almost as uninviting as Pringle's wicker room.


If the showroom is disorganized, imagine the business itself. I wish I could see some of the price tags.

Built to last

This merchandise was meant to endure for generations and may still be around and in use. The high quality of fine craftsmanship is evident in its sturdiness. Too bad we cannot see the price tags.

I wish the tags were readable!

I bet you could buy everything visible in this photo for what you would pay for one leather couch today.

So that's what it looked like.

Walk into any antique store in Anytown USA and you see the beat up versions of these pieces. I sorta wondered what these things looked like when new.

Fire up the wayback machine

That's a gold mine of (future) antiques right there!

So This is What They Did

before branching out into making potato chips!

By the way, I'd take any of this furniture over the crappy, cardboard stuff we call furniture today.

How Much?

The prices are clearly marked.


Some lovely gems, not withstanding the price tags everywhere. The slant-front desk on the right front is incredible. This, and a number of other pieces in the photo, are in the "Hall style" of American Empire furniture. This style originated in the 1840s and represent early machine-made furniture in America. (Three cheers for the band saw!) There is a great deal of controversy about whether these pieces were manufactured past the Victorian age into the 20th century. Here's the proof; Thanks Shorpy!

Just one little oversight

Somebody forgot to leave paths through this clutter so prospective buyers could get to farther away items they wanted to look at closely.

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