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Pringle Furniture: 1912
Detroit, Michigan, circa 1912. "Pringle Furniture Co. showroom with tables and ... Not Much Better This display is almost as uninviting as Pringle's wicker room. At no charge Dust, and if you're really lucky, ... 
Posted by Dave - 08/08/2012 - 3:11pm -

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.
Tipping hazardThat 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?
Just one little oversightSomebody forgot to leave paths through this clutter so prospective buyers could get to farther away items they wanted to look at closely.
Wow!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!
How Much?The prices are clearly marked.
So This is What They Didbefore 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.
Fire up the wayback machineThat's a gold mine of (future) antiques right there!
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.
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.
Built to lastThis 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.
JumbledIf the showroom is disorganized, imagine the business itself. I wish I could see some of the price tags.
Not Much BetterThis display is almost as uninviting as Pringle's wicker room.
At no chargeDust, and if you're really lucky, sawdust!
HorridThe Bauhaus and mid-century modernism couldn't have come soon enough.
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 Gallery, Detroit Photos, DPC, Stores & Markets)

Between the Grands: 1912
Detroit circa 1912. "Pringle Furniture Co., Gratiot Avenue." Establishing shot ... selection. Here you are never importuned to buy. Pringle Furniture Co. 431 Gratiot Avenue One and one-half blocks from ... 
Posted by Dave - 08/15/2012 - 3:53pm -

Detroit circa 1912. "Pringle Furniture Co., Gratiot Avenue." Establishing shot of the home-furnishings crypt seen here. 8x10 glass negative. View full size.
Still there!Looks a little lonely on the block. Perhaps some new buildings will come around soon to keep it company!
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Never Importuned to Buy

The Social Secretary of Detroit, 1922.

Art and Utility are blended admirably in the creations of the master period designers whose noteworthy achievements are represented in furniture for every room in your home found on our display floors.
Our sixty-five display rooms show the various types of furniture in the proper setting which greatly simplifies selection. Here you are never importuned to buy.

Pringle Furniture Co.
431 Gratiot Avenue
One and one-half blocks from Broadway

Gratiot AvenueFirst time I was in Detroit and was being driven down Gratiot Avenue, I asked the driver how it was pronounced. He replied, "Think of these two words, grass and shut. Now say them fast! Very very fast, eventually dropping the two esses from grass.
No badgering, pestering or harassingI never liked to be importuned at a car dealership. I might have said something like "if your salesmen keep importuning me I'll take my business down the street." I will use this word 4 times today and add it to my vocabulary.
Just CuriousIf I am reading the signage correctly, the Pringle Furniture Company was formerly the Detroit Picture Company. Did they sell works of art such as framed paintings or photographs? Was there any connection between this Detroit Picture Company and the Detroit Pictures (DPC), the Library of Congress source, for so many great Shorpy pictures? 
[DPC is the Detroit Publishing Company. - Dave]
OK, the other thing I wanted to know is why these guys decided to go into the fake potato chip business?
You liked our pictures, you'll love our furniture!So the company that took this photo went into the furniture business?  I wonder why they needed to point out the connection?  I don't think there would be much customer carry-over.
Wickah First Floor!Based on the fact that the only windows with awnings is first floor, that's where the wicker was (awnings visible through the hideous blinds).
The Sally Ann is next door and offers a free day nursery.
I also like the way that the Grand Union Tea Company has diversified and sells tea -- and soap.
Name ChangeTo answer "jdowling23" question, the Detroit Picture Company (DPC) was already selling furniture and carpets, along with pictures and frames, when the name was changed circa 1910.  Two of the DPC owners, James and David Pringle, likely promoted the name change to Pringle Furniture Company to more accurately reflect the nature of their business.  In 1955 the store changed names again to Harrison & Pringle.  
(The Gallery, Detroit Photos, DPC, Stores & Markets)

Something Wicker: 1912
Detroit, Michigan, circa 1912. "Pringle Furniture Co. -- chairs." 8x10 inch dry ... Avenue According to old Detroit City Directories, the Pringle Furniture Company was located at 121-123 Gratiot Avenue, between Brush ... 
Posted by Dave - 07/29/2012 - 6:09pm -

Detroit, Michigan, circa 1912. "Pringle Furniture Co. -- chairs." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.
The furniture store on Gratiot AvenueAccording to old Detroit City Directories, the Pringle Furniture Company was located at 121-123 Gratiot Avenue, between Brush and Beaubien Streets.  It was originally incorporated in 1884 as the Detroit Picture Company with a capitalization of $25,000 for the purpose of selling "furniture, carpets, pictures and frames." In 1910, the company changed its name at the same time Herman Endriss left as President and was replaced by the Vice President, William A. Secord. In 1911, James Pringle came aboard as VP, joining the company's long-time Secretary-Treasurer, David Pringle.
Eclectic and ElectricIt looks as if the folks at Pringle's were pulling out all the stops for showroom illumination.  Somehow, I imagine the resulting glare didn't enhance the appearance of anything in the showroom.
You can have any style you wantas long as it's Wicker.
I suspectThose hideous blinds were never meant to be seen by the public. However, judging by the light filtering through, even with the awnings which you can see the shadow of, without the blinds you wouldn't see the merchandise in this photo.
State of the ArtJudging by this picture the wicker industry hasn't enjoyed the same rate of technological development as say the  radio or automobile industries have in the last century. In fact I would guess that you could pick up the very same models today at Wild Wally's World of Wicker.
Wicker TechnologyActually, Julian, wicker received a technological boost in about 1920 when a Minneapolis resident by the name of Marshall Lloyd developed and patented an automatic wicker loom.  This invention allowed the construction of sheets of woven wicker quickly and inexpensively.  The loom patent was sold to Heywood Wakefield and that company was soon a very major producer of wicker furniture.  
(The Gallery, Detroit Photos, DPC)

Naval Maneuvers: 1901
... superintendent, U.S. Naval Academy." 8x10 glass negative, Detroit Publishing Co. View full size. Many years later ... in a ... see much of is future Vice Admiral Joel Roberts Poinsett Pringle USNA 1892. The cute boy who is entranced with the girl is the future ... 
Posted by Dave - 07/29/2012 - 1:28pm -

Annapolis, Maryland, circa 1901. "Cadets at residence of superintendent, U.S. Naval Academy." 8x10 glass negative, Detroit Publishing Co. View full size.
Many years later... in a land over the rainbow, the sister of the young lady with the hat died in a tragic accident when a house fell out of the sky and struck her.  The Munchkins were thrilled!
Exquisite shotAnd a very explicit look.
"How can I tell her that I love her?"
No lack of confidence here.Every one of these young people has the look and body language of supreme confidence. Ok, except for Mr. Daydreamer behind the hat lady. He's somehow fascinated and mesmerized by the millinery I suppose.
WhatisitOne of the young men is holding something that I can't even guess what it is.
[Perhaps one of the dainty folding fans favored by sailors of the era. - Dave]
The GazeI don't see love in his eyes. He's probably thinking "Why on earth does she keep a dead pigeon on her head?"
This fellow's nameMidshipman Smitten.
Love triangleObviously, the young man in the closeup below is smitten with the girl with the puffy hat in front of him. She, in turn is eyeing one of the likely lads to her right.
Hat in handMidshipman Smitten obviously has a thing for the cute young lady directly in front of him, and she is holding his cap! 
She stole his hatto get his attention, so they are mutually smitten.
GaslightWould love to see that gas chandelier in the foyer ablaze at night with a circle of fishtail flames flickering through the globes.
Ahead of his timeI'm wondering about the melatonin-advantaged (Asian?  Hispanic?) fellow in the middle of the picture.  I wonder what sort of career he could have had in the Navy.
Or perhaps he was an exchange student from Japan?  This was about the time they were working hard to create a "modern" Navy.
[He's probably Filipino, his countrymen numbering among the "newly acquired peoples" granted admission to U.S. military academies in 1901 following the defeat of Spain in the Spanish American War. - Dave]
"Academy" - the miniseriesFollowing the trials and loves of The Class of '05 - Purvis, son of a Congressman, ambitious and dim and in love with Fanny, the Superintendent's daughter; Jake, the brilliant but diffident cadet unaware of Fanny's longing looks but well aware that her father, "The Admiral" is prepared to stop at nothing to have him drummed out of the Academy; Violet, Fanny's beautiful "City" cousin, whose dazzling smile turns the heads of most of the men on campus; Manolo, the first Filipino cadet in the history of the Academy whose dark, exotic looks have attracted the eye of Walter, Fanny's older brother, whose aspirations lie not in the Navy but on Broadway - Manolo, alas, has already fallen for Bert, the Academy's football star ... 
I'll be waitingFor "Academy" Season 1, Episode 2. Written by Mudhooks, produced by Dave, directed by Shorpy.
Hilarious Comments on this Pic!I think there is a possibility that the young man staring across the porch and the girl, are brother and sister. They seem to favor.
Edvado, that is exactly what I was thinking. Miss Elvira Gulch.
Poor girlMisses #1 and 2 overwhelm Miss #3 who is mostly hidden to the right. I bet she complained of not being given enough "face time" in the photo. 
CNOErnest King, CNO during WWII, was Class of '01.  Any chance he's in the picture?
I feel a song comin' onThe trio of theatrical looking lads on the extreme left seem posed to begin singing a rousing rendition of a show-stopping musical number, perhaps something like "Anchors Aweigh" or some other toe-tapping, patriotic naval song.  Can't you just see them stepping off the porch and doing their drill down the sidewalk?
Season 2 of "Academy"Heart-broken after the disappearance of Jake during a daring rescue of Bill the Goat, the college mascot, from the crow's-nest of the USS Chesapeake, Fanny reveals to Violet a terrible family secret.
Sixteen years early, "The Admiral", while on a drunken and debauched week in New Orleans, fell madly in love with one of "les filles" at Madame Fricassee's "Maison de Mauvais Parfum". Alas, "Collette", the object of his desire, was in fact Mabel, the laudanum-addicted, wayward wife of none other than "The Admiral's" own brother - and mother of Violet. Nine months later, "Collette" gave birth to a son and promptly died of Yellow Fever. The ever-resourceful Madame Fricassee employed the services of even more resourceful Sam Huckabee, private detective, to track town "The Admiral".
A financial arrangement was reached and Oswald, the product of the brief union of "The Admiral" and "Collette", was raised by Madame Fricassee and "les filles". Eventually, "The Admiral" agreed to have him enrolled at the Academy, as long as Oswald was never told of his actual parentage.
Fanny had come across "The Admiral's" stash of letters from Madame Fricassee and reveals all to Violet.
Violet, in turn, has her own secret ...
Feigning indifference to one another Oswald and Violet have secretly eloped and Violet is with child.
Another possibilityIs that the Asian-looking midshipman is Hiroaki Tamura, graduated 1900. Last of some 15 Japanese cadets who attended between 1869 and 1900. 
Another Japanese graduated in 1993. 
If I may ask an obvious questionWas parting one's hair in the middle mandatory in those days? The one guy in the picture whose part is slightly off-center is wearing his hair in the manner that matches most photos of President Roosevelt at the time.
The Superintendent's daughterThe Academy's superintendent from 1900 to 1902 was Commander Richard Wainwright.  He and his wife Evelyn had one daughter, Louisa.  She was chosen to christen the submarine USS Shark (SS-8) in 1901.  The Boston Globe reported on October 29, 1902 that Miss Wainwright wed Lt. Walter Stevens Turpin (in the drawing room of "the superintendent's new residence"). He was the son of a former Maryland state senator. Do not look for him in this photo; he graduated from the academy in 1894, and was stationed at the Crescent Shipyards in Elizabethport NJ in 1901 and the USS Indiana in 1902.
Dating the MidshipmenI’m thinking this photo was taken in 1894-1896. Big balloon sleeves on women's clothing started to appear around 1894 and by 1897 were gone. Also the hats they’re wearing are more typical of the mid 1890s. The LOC gives the date range of the U.S. Naval Academy photos as between 1890 and 1901.
[This particular image is listed in Detroit Publishing's 1901 catalog. - Dave]
Update on cadetsBIG update!  The one in the center, seated between hat lady and the woman you can't see much of is future Vice Admiral Joel Roberts Poinsett Pringle USNA 1892. The cute boy who is entranced with the girl is the future CPT William Lord Littlefield, Class of 1896. Behind Pringle is Motohiko Takasaki, class of 1895, Empire of Japan, who designed the class ring for that year. On the right side of the picture are L-R, Roscoe Spear and Charles Webster, class of 1894.  
DonY commented that the fashions on the women suggested the date to be the mid-1890s, rather than 1901.  He was correct!  The only time men from all of these classes would have been there, still as Naval Cadets, was in the Summer of 1894.  Pringle was back from the two years "service afloat" that was required after graduation, and would be appointed an Ensign, in July. Spear and Webster would have been preparing to start their service afloat. Takasaki and Littlefield still had to finish their studies. 
The dean at USNA, that year, was CPT (later Commodore) Robert Lees Phythian.  He had two daughters, Bonnie, born 1871, and Cordelia, born 1874.  My guess is that the object of Cadet Littlefield's affection was Cordelia.  He didn't marry her, though.  In fact, she married then LT Pringle, in 1899, and their daughter and her children also carried on the USNA/Navy tradition!  
Here's a Lucky Bag photo of the class of 1895, in which you will see Motohiko Takasaki and a few others found in this picture, but which I can't identify. Click to enlarge.

Included in the group photo are Worth Bagley, the only line officer killed in the Spanish-American war, in the far upper left corner, and the very tall you man on the right side, in the very back, who was John Robert Monaghan.  Monaghan was killed in 1899, in the second Samoan civil war.  
There's a picture of our smitten Cadet Littlefield here.
(The Gallery, DPC)

Navy Cadets: 1894
... Graduating class of 1894." 8x10 inch glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size. Midshipmen...or not? I ... identified: Lower left corner Joel Roberts Poinsett Pringle, who retired as a vice admiral. From what I've seen, he was especially ... 
Posted by Dave - 08/15/2012 - 4:36pm -

Annapolis, Maryland. "U.S. Naval Academy. A group of cadets. Graduating class of 1894." 8x10 inch glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.
Midshipmen...or not?I almost corrected the post to point out they are "midshipmen" and not "cadets," but it turns out the term, or rank, of "midshipman" was not permanently adopted until 1902. 
At any rate, cadets/midshipmen with facial hair? Not so much these days. And some of these fellows sure look a bit weathered for men in their late teens to early/mid 20s.
To Match or Not to MatchThe attached was taken in 1928.  Rear Admiral Joseph M. Reeves is front center.  He graduated from the Naval Academy in 1894.  Can anyone find him in the 1894 class photo?
John Martin Poyer, is that you?John Martin Poyer, 1861 - May 12, 1922, USNA Class of 1894. 12 Naval Governor of American Samoa.  
Awarded The Navy Cross  for quarantining American Samoa during the flue pandemic of 1819, there were no flue deaths in American Samoa due to Poyer's action.   
Constructor of the Navy and Chief of the Bureau of Construction Rear Admiral Washington Lee Capps (31 January 1864 – 31 May 1935) USNA Class of 1884
Little does the NFL knowOne of these young men is Joseph “Bulldog” Reeves, inventor of the football helmet and a naval aviation pioneer. Read about his helmet here:  and his distinguished military career here:
Apparently the class survived the vicious hazing at the Academy back then,  as seen here:
The same groupThe same group appeared here previously.
RE: To Match or Not to MatchI'm guessing that Reeves is either the gentleman enjoying a bear hug or the one sitting left of the fellow who looks about 3 seconds away from bursting into tears.
Third row from front, far left = Robert De Niro in "Once Upon a Time in America".
That part. Will never come back into style. Shemp Howard ruined it for us guys.  
ReevesMy 'vote' is for the fellow that already has a beard; front and center in this picture, but I still think "Bulldog" is an apt nickname for the fellow on the far right, front row.  Wonder if his last name was 'Drummond'?
No PipesDo they get a Pipe after they're assigned to a ship? 
FootwearLooks like there were no uniformity requirements for cadets' footwearback then.  I don't think there was even as late as the 1930's.  I recall a pic (here on Shorpy), of an American general from around 1938, posing with a Spanish officer (?) and he's wearing wing tip brogues.
Another member of the USNA class of 1892 identifiedThese men are NOT the graduating class of 1894.  They are about two-thirds of the class of 1892.  They were back in Annapolis, in the Spring of 1894, having finished the two-year cruise that was then required before they took their final exams. Another sign that this is what was going on is the facial hair, which they could not have as students.  Also, the caps the graduated, but not commissioned, men wore are very different from the ones worn by those still at the academy.    
If you will go to this link, from the 1894-1895 USNA Annual Reports, you will see the names of the men of the class of 1892, and the appointments or discharges they received in 1894. If you change the years on the URL to two years later, you will get the annual report from 1896, which contains the name of people like Joseph Mason Reeves, from the class of 1894, and the appointments they received at that time.
Here are those I have identified:
Lower left corner Joel Roberts Poinsett Pringle, who retired as a vice admiral. From what I've seen, he was especially well thought of by his comrades. 
Second row up, far left is Luke McNamee, retired admiral. There is a good write up on his very successful career at Find A Grave.
Continuing on the same step, left to right, skip two. The next is Charles Fearns Macklin. He was in the Marine Corps for several years, got out and went into politics, but stayed in the Naval reserve force. 
Far right in that row is the very easy to recognize, Raymond DeLancey Hasbrouck.  He was appointed an assistant engineer. There is more about him at
Back to the left, third row from the bottom, is Edward Stanley Kellogg. Retired as a captain, and was governor of American Samoa. 
Skipping one, in the center of the picture, is John Fore Hines.  He was on the faculty of the Naval Academy for several years, retired as a captain.  His son, John Fore Hines, JR., USNA '27, retired as a rear admiral, and his grandson was a Marine Corps officer, killed in Vietnam, so his family provided a great deal of service.
Next is John Russell Young Blakely, whose commands included the battleship, USS Arizona. He also retired as a rear admiral.
On the end of that row is Charles Theodore Jewell.  He was the son of an admiral, and retired as a commander. 
On the top, seated, row, far left is Yates Stirling, Jr., son of a RADM, who also retired as a RADM.  His son, Yates Stirling III (USNA class 1926) retired as a Captain. 
2nd from left is John Henry Russell, China Marine, father of socialite and philanthropist, Brooke Astor, and 16th commandant of the US Marine Corps.
Skipping two more, the one who looks like there are bags under his eyes is Frederick Augustus Traut.  He later served at the Naval Academy as head of the department of foreign languages, and retired as a captain.
There are two more, Thomas L. Stitt and John Twiggs Meyers, who are in the earlier picture of the class of '92, but not this one.  Both were given honorable discharges at the time of this picture.  Stitt apparently had developed a vision problem or something that precluded him from serving in the Navy, but not from becoming successful in civilian life, which he did. 
In a letter written to a friend, Myers, an Army junior, relates having been devastated about being discharged, apparently for no specific reason. He fought it and was appointed (the word later changed to commissioned) a 2nd LT, USMC, a few months later. He won notoriety in the Boxer rebellion, in China, in which he was wounded, and eventually got three stars! The two pictures I'm posting should be Myers, on the top, and Stitt, on the bottom, who is very easy to pick out of the earlier group picture.   
And that's it, so far!  If anyone has any ideas about those I haven't been able to identify, or would like to see the evidence I used to identify the ones I did, please email me!  
(The Gallery, Boats & Bridges, DPC)

Heavy Lifting: 1910
... at Cleveland." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size. That hopper car belongs ... in 1905, Pickands, Mather sold the vessel to Cleveland's Pringle Barge Line in 1922, which had it converted to a self-unloading barge ... 
Posted by Dave - 08/01/2014 - 9:05am -

Circa 1910. "Brown electric hoist unloading freighter Constitution at Cleveland." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.
That hopper carbelongs to the Pittsburg & Lake Erie Railroad, seems they may be unloading (loading) coal.
The Constitutionwas a 379-foot long barge, launched 22 April 1897 at West Superior, Wisconsin, by the American Steel Barge Company, a firm better known for the design and construction of the unique Great Lakes "whaleback." The steamer Victorious generally towed the Constitution, both owned by Cleveland's Pickands, Mather & Co. Brought back to Superior to be lengthened over seventy feet in 1905, Pickands, Mather sold the vessel to Cleveland's Pringle Barge Line in 1922, which had it converted to a self-unloading barge five years later using a unique system developed by noted Chicago marine contractor Jacob Sensibar.  The Constitution ended its career primarily hauling coal from Toledo to Detroit, towed by the big Diesel tug S. M. Dean, and was dismantled at Port Colborne, Ontario, in 1968.
Brown and out.The cables visible next to the tracks are probably there to move a "larry", sometimes called a "pig", a small rail car that connected to the hoppers, so that they might be moved on the wharf without the need of a locomotive.
NYPANO dacksThis looks like the New York, Pennsylvania & Ohio dock on Whiskey Island. This facility, but not the pictured unloaders, lasted until Conrail was formed and then were surplus due to the huge PRR (Cleveland & Pittsburgh) operation with its four massive Hullett unloaders just across the old river bed.
 Those Pittsburgh & Lake Erie hoppers likely brought coking coal to Cleveland, and will get a load of ore for a return to the Ohio Valley- probably near Youngstown. 
(The Gallery, Boats & Bridges, Cleveland, DPC, Railroads)
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