Home Harmony and The House Beautiful

January 1913, HOME HARMONY

Here are six postcards from a set published by Grand Rapids Furniture Record Co., copyright 1912.  These cards were made to be sent by furniture retailers to their customers. The back of each postcard had a calendar for one month of 1913 and a timely advertising message. Below the advertising message was a space for printing the names and addresses of local furniture sellers.

The back of the January card states that that was the month when the buyers went to the great furniture markets. It was suggested to potential customers that with the holiday rush over, they could now buy whatever they might need.

January 1913 Calendar

Grand Rapids, Michigan, known as Furniture City, was the home of many furniture manufacturers and one of the major furniture markets. The boom years for the furniture industry in Grand Rapids were from approximately 1870 to 1930. The Grand Rapids Spectator published a list in 1922 of the numbers attending the January furniture market. The number of buyers had almost doubled in the few years preceding 1922. In 1913, there were 1226 buyers; in 1922, the number was 2150.

In March,  the  merchants wanted the customers to know that housecleaning wants were being anticipated and that the store had a spring stock of rugs in and “new everything.”

March 1913, THE LIVING ROOM

The verse on the front of the May postcard seems to be aimed at June brides planning their new home, while the back of the May card promoted porch furniture for the coming summer.

May 1913, PLANNING

In September long evenings were coming and with them thoughts of comfort in the home, particularly in the library, den, and living room–and it wasn’t too early to begin thinking of stoves.

September 1913, THE LIBRARY

The October card featured furniture for “Milady’s Chamber.” The message on the back emphasized mattresses and beds, and pointed out that there was “a long winter to come.”

October 1913, MILADY’S CHAMBER

The December advertising message promoted furniture for gift giving because a furniture gift is seen and used daily. It was said to be a source of comfort, long lasting, a constant reminder, and never forgotten.

December 1913, THE HOUSE BEAUTIFUL

December 1913 Calendar

The Grand Rapids Furniture Record Company published a magazine, The Grand Rapids Furniture Record, with information and suggestions for furniture merchants. The July 1914 issue of The Grand Rapids Furniture Record, digitized online, began with an article titled “How to Write an Advertisement.” It is interesting and instructive to see how well the advertising messages on these postcards follow the tips given in that article. This is how the author summarized the article:

 

For More Vintage Furniture and Interior Posts
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Sepia Saturday 403 Header : 27 January 2018

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About postcardy

I am a longtime postcard collector who has been creating websites and blogs based on my postcard collection since 1998.
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7 Responses to Home Harmony and The House Beautiful

  1. kerbent says:

    How fascinating, I’ve never seen postcards like this before I wonder how successful they were at increasing sales? I also like the accompanying article “How to Write an Advertisement.”

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  2. Whoever the copywriter/poet was he/she certainly was a skilled wordsmith at their craft. I imagine for many isolated American/Canadian communities spread out along the web of railroads, these postcards helped develop the culture of home fashion trends. Who could resist such romantic glamor? That first woman in the January card would sweep up all the dust bunnies and dog fuzz with her gown if she lived in my house.

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  3. Wendy says:

    Yesteryear’s HGTV.

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  4. La Nightingail says:

    All the postcard ads were fun and interesting. I found the one advocating furnishings for “Milady’s Chamber” the most interesting, however. Seems back then it was still popular for “Milady” to have her own bedroom? 🙂

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  5. Enjoyed the mention of the family tree on the March card. Excellent selection of interiors and accompanying poetic messages…and that digitized catalog is just wonderful!

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  6. tony zimnoch says:

    Sandman’s Call Lovely.and the whole catalog infact.Beautiful .Thanks for the share

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  7. kristin says:

    I am reading a book right now and I imagine the rooms and milady looking that those on the cards.

    Like

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