Schmitz-Horning Co. Letterhead 1907

September 23, 2019

By Janet Dodrill

Recently, I came across this ephemera paper item on eBay, a letter from The Schmitz-Horning Company (founded 1905) to a potential customer Danbury Fair, to accompany wall covering samples, typed on their letterhead, dated 1907. I was so happy to find this document because it contains historical information about the company that I did not know previously.

The Schmitz-Horning Co. letter to a potential customer on their letterhead, 1907

The Schmitz-Horning Co. letter to a potential customer on their letterhead, 1907.

The letter reads (copied as it appears):

May 8, 1907.

Secretary. Danbury Fair.

Danbury, Conn.

Dear Sir:

Per the request of Mr Frank Spellman we are sending you under separate cover sample of a three sheet for Knabenshues Air-ship. We have the same thing in a one sheet. This paper is copywrited under our own name and cannot be obtained from anyone else. The price of the three sheets is 6 cents per sheet, and on the one sheets it is 6 cents per sheet in lots up to 500 over that 5 cents per sheet. Hoping to have the pleasure of hearing favorably from you we are

Yours very truly.

The Schmitz-Horning Co.

Do you use any race paper? We have a complete line of the very latest.

The company administrators are listed at the top:

H.M. Schmitz, President

W.R. Cox, Vice President

Wm Horning, Treasurer

W.M. Cope, Secretary

The first three are also listed on Schmitz-Horning’s 1906 Frieze Patent.

Hugo Max Schmitz (my great-grandfather) and William Horning were co-founders of the Schmitz-Horning Company. Hugo was an artist and most likely met William, an artist and a lithographer, at Cleveland Art Club in the late 1890s. I found a Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper article on an Art Club exhibit where they both exhibited. Warren R. Cox, shown as Vice President, was a relative and became head salesman. William M. Cope, listed as Secretary on the letterhead, was also a relative, and this letter brings forth my first understanding that he had any involvement in the company.

In researching the three-sheet sample named in the letter, Knabenshues Air-ship, I came across these air vessels in a 1914 Schmitz-Horning Co. catalog in the Sporting Panels series that was manufactured both in one sheet and in three sheets, which may be that one.

Sporting Panel pattern depicting aircraft by Schmitz-Horning Co.

Sporting Panel pattern depicting aircraft by Schmitz-Horning Co., 1914 catalog.

Additionally, at the bottom of the letter it mentions race paper. Could this possibly be the racing automobiles pattern that I discovered in the same catalog and series?

Sporting Panel pattern showing competing automobiles of the time on a race track or country road by Schmitz-Horning Co.

Sporting Panel pattern showing competing automobiles of the time on a race track or country road by Schmitz-Horning Co., 1914 catalog.

The address on the letterhead is Whitney Building, Power and Muirson Streets, Cleveland. The building housed many companies including machinists, foundries and lithographers. Power Street or Avenue no longer exists today. The company was in its own building on E. 82nd street by 1912.

Whitney Building, E. 12th and Power Ave., Cleveland, 1963. (Cleveland Public Library Photograph Collection)

Whitney Building, E. 12th and Power Ave., Cleveland, 1963. (Cleveland Public Library Photograph Collection)

The Schmitz-Horning Co. label dated from a 1912 catalog, from its newer address on E. 82nd Street, Cleveland.

The Schmitz-Horning Co. label dated from a 1912 catalog, from its newer address on E. 82nd Street, Cleveland.

schmitz-horning-company-cleveland-ohio-plant-about-1925

The Schmitz-Horning Company building, Cleveland, Ohio, about 1925.

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The Schmitz-Horning Co. Featured in Architect Magazine

June 23, 2019

By Janet Dodrill

Architect Magazine published an article online June 6, 2019, titled Wallpaper Motifs of the 20th Century. In the article, the Building Technology Heritage Library (BTHL) highlights 11 pioneers in the evolution of 20th century wallpaper styles and motifs.

Online viewable catalogs are embedded in the article. A scanned original Schmitz-Horning Co. 1920 San-Kro-Mura Wall Decorations full catalog is included, showing printed wallpaper panels and murals with themes including medieval tapestries, modern tiles, and floral motifs, and more.

It is evident that the diversity and skill of Cleveland’s Schmitz-Horning’s staff artists helped the company to create a beautiful variety of murals and scenic designs produced onto high quality washable and affordable chromolithographs.

Links:

Architect Magazine, Wallpaper Motifs of the 20th Century, June 6, 2019
https://www.architectmagazine.com/practice/wallpaper-motifs-of-the-20th-century_o

Schmitz-Horning Co 1920 San-Kro-Mura Wall Decorations catalog
https://archive.org/details/San-kro-muraWallDecorations

 

 

Schmitz-Horning Company’s Chinese Embroidery wall mural pattern from the San-Kro-Mura Wall Decorations catalog.

Schmitz-Horning Company’s Chinese Embroidery wall mural pattern from the San-Kro-Mura Wall Decorations catalog.

Schmitz-Horning Company’s Chinese Floral wall decoration pattern from the San-Kro-Mura Wall Decorations catalog.

Schmitz-Horning Company’s Chinese Floral wall decoration pattern from the San-Kro-Mura Wall Decorations catalog.

Schmitz-Horning Company’s The Nymph wall mural pattern from the San-Kro-Mura Wall Decorations catalog.

Schmitz-Horning Company’s The Nymph wall mural pattern from the San-Kro-Mura Wall Decorations catalog.

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Carl Fuchs Designed Schmitz-Horning Scenic Wall Pattern

May 23, 2019

By Janet Dodrill

Schmitz-Horning Company's Old South scenic panel detail (Photo: Cooper Hewitt).

Schmitz-Horning Company’s Old South 1930s-1940s scenic panel detail (Photo: Cooper Hewitt).

Carl Fuchs designed the Old South scenic wall paper pattern (1930s-1940s) for the Schmitz-Horning Company of Cleveland, Ohio. The color lithograph (chromolithograph) inks and (washable) paper used were of the highest quality. Old South depicted plantation life in early America, and included a steamboat and fox hunt. There were twelve sections, each approximately 40″ x 80″ in repeat pattern.

The company was co-founded and run by my great-grandfather, Hugo M. Schmitz, and after his death in the late 1930s, run by my grandfather Warren R. Schmitz.

I am almost certain this 1920s Art Deco decorative pattern, Dekorative Vorbilder (Decorative Role Models), which I came across on an auction site, is by the same artist.

Dekorative Vorbilder by Carl Fuchs, 1920s Art Deco decorative pattern.

Dekorative Vorbilder by Carl Fuchs, 1920s Art Deco decorative pattern (Photo: Liveauctioneers.com).

Carl Fuchs was also hired by my grandparents to paint an oil portrait of my mother, then a girl of eight years.

Oil portrait of Schmitz-Horning president's daughter (my mother) by artist Carl Fuchs, 1939.

Oil portrait of Schmitz-Horning president’s daughter (my mother) by artist Carl Fuchs, 1939 (Photo: Schmitz family).

Resources:

Cooper Hewitt, Old South Scenic Panels
https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18431473/
https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18431471/
https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18431469/

Cooper Hewitt, Objects Involving The Schmitz-Horning Co.
https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/people/18046573/objects/

Riverview Estate Auctions, September 27, 2015 Auction, Lot 0008B
https://www.liveauctioneers.com/item/41129637_1920s-art-deco-dekorative-vorbilder-print-carl-fuchs

Copyright article and images. All rights reserved. Not to be used without permission.

Schmitz-Horning Company's Old South scenic panel, 1 of 12 sections, each 40″ x 80″, repeat, designed by Carl Fuchs (Photo: Cooper Hewitt).

Schmitz-Horning Company’s Old South scenic panel, 1 of 12 sections, each 40″ x 80″, repeat, designed by Carl Fuchs (Photo: Cooper Hewitt).

Schmitz-Horning Company's Old South scenic panel, 1 of 12 sections, each 40″ x 80″, repeat, designed by Carl Fuchs (Photo: Cooper Hewitt).

Schmitz-Horning Company’s Old South scenic panel, 1 of 12 sections, each 40″ x 80″, repeat, designed by Carl Fuchs (Photo: Cooper Hewitt).

Schmitz-Horning Company's Old South scenic panel, 1 of 12 sections, each 40″ x 80″, repeat, designed by Carl Fuchs (Photo: Cooper Hewitt).

Schmitz-Horning Company’s Old South scenic panel, 1 of 12 sections, each 40″ x 80″, repeat, designed by Carl Fuchs (Photo: Cooper Hewitt).


90,000 Pipes at Keens Steakhouse

August 18, 2018

By Janet Dodrill

Did you know that there is a popular restaurant in New York CIty with a collection of thousands of pipes? Keens Steakhouse (formerly Keens Chophouse), founded in 1885 in Herald Square Theatre District (now the Garment District), houses more than 90,000 smoking pipes.

How did I learn about this? In documentation written by my late mother about my great-grandfather, Hugo Max Schmitz. I have been researching him and his art career as well as the company he co-founded in 1905 and ran, the Schmitz-Horning Company of Cleveland, Ohio. According to her statement, Hugo was one of the first Greenwich Village artists in the last 1800s. In New York, he had a prize-winning portrait painting exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He also had a pipe hanging at Keens Steakhouse!

Hard clay churchwarden pipes were checked-in and returned to patrons from storage by a pipe warden. Their pipe club included such names as Teddy Roosevelt, Babe Ruth, Will Rogers, General Douglas MacArthur, Robert F. Kennedy, and Buffalo Bill Cody. More recently, online photos show that celebrities have left behind autographed pipes.

Keens Steakhouse

Keens Steakhouse.

Pipes on the ceiling at Keens Steakhouse

Pipes on the ceiling at Keens Steakhouse.

Pipe collection at Keens Steakhouse

Pipe collection at Keens Steakhouse.

John F. Kennedy's pipe at Keens Steakhouse

John F. Kennedy’s pipe at Keens Steakhouse.

Autographed pipes at Keens Steakhouse

Autographed pipes at Keens Steakhouse.

Photos Credits:

Keens Steakhouse www.keens.com

1000 Things NYC www.1000thingsnyc.com

Trip Advisor www.tripadvisor.com/LocationPhotoDirectLink-g60763-d425330-i100087466-Keens_Steakhouse-New_York_City_New_York.html

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Cooper Hewitt’s Object of the Day, Schmitz-Horning Co. 1913-1914 Catalogue

March 11, 2018

By Janet Dodrill

The Outside Comes Inside, Cooper Hewitt's Object of the Day, the Schmitz-Horning Company Catalogue.

The Outside Comes Inside, Cooper Hewitt’s Object of the Day, the Schmitz-Horning Company Catalogue.

Cooper Hewitt’s recent Object of the Day (December 17, 2017), The Outside Comes Inside, featured Schmitz-Horning Company’s San-Kro-Mura wall decoration catalogue from 1913-1914.

The Object of the Day webpage contains color images of selected catalogue pages and a brief audio recording about it and the company.

The Schmitz-Horning Company, established in 1905 in Cleveland, Ohio, designed and manufactured full-color chromolithograph high quality washable wall coverings, murals, decorative room panoramics, and friezes.

The wall decoration catalogue is available as part of an “adoption” program to gain funding to support the preservation of this book and others at the museum.

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum currently has over 100 pieces in their collection from the Schmitz-Horning Company – the major collection was a gift from the Wallpaper Council, Inc. of New York, NY.

Schmitz-Horning was co-founded by Hugo M. Schmitz (my great-grandfather) and William Horning, artists and lithographers. It is believed the two became acquainted in the late 1800s in and around the Cleveland Art Club and artist’s community. Mr. Horning sold his interest in the company in 1920. Around 1926, Warren R. Schmitz (my grandfather), became vice president of the firm and assisted in company sales. In 1938 he became president of the company until it closed in 1960.

The Forest wall mural theme, Schmitz-Horning Co., 1914 catalogue

The Forest wall mural theme, Schmitz-Horning Co., 1914 catalogue

 

Hollyhocks wall mural theme, Schmitz-Horning Co. 1914 catalogue.

Hollyhocks wall mural theme, Schmitz-Horning Co. 1914 catalogue.

Copyright article and images. All rights reserved. Not to be used without permission.


Selected Schmitz-Horning Company Links at Cooper Hewitt:

Cooper Hewitt’s recent Object of the Day (December 17, 2017) The Outside Comes Inside, Schmitz-Horning Co. 1913-1914 Catalogue
cooperhewitt.org/2017/12/17/the-outside-comes-inside

The Schmitz-Horning Co.
collection.cooperhewitt.org/people/18046573

Cooper Hewitt WALLCOVERINGS
cooperhewitt.org/tag/wallcoverings


Archibald Willard, Friend to Hugo Max Schmitz of Schmitz-Horning Co.

February 27, 2017

By Janet Dodrill

Hugo Max Schmitz I (late 1800s).  (Schmitz family archives)

Hugo Max Schmitz I (late 1800s). (Schmitz family archives)

It is believed that in the 1890s, a promising artist left his family and relatives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and made his way to Cleveland, perhaps attracted to its thriving art community. He was Hugo Max Schmitz (1867-1938), my great grandfather, and in his mid-30s. Hugo, of German descent, joined Cleveland’s Art Club (formerly know as The Bohemians) and attended regular drawing sessions in its location above City Hall, and participated in their exhibits and possibly traveled abroad with other artists.

President of the established Art Club (and also co-founder and trustee) at the time was notable northeast Ohio artist Archibald MacNeal Willard (1836-1918). He was best known for his painting of The Spirit of ’76. He was born in Bedford, Ohio and at the age of 17 moved to Wellington, Ohio. There is a museum in Wellington in his honor.

Photo portrait of Archibald Willard, restored (Schmitz family archives).

Photo portrait of Archibald Willard, restored (Schmitz family archives).

Archibald Willard was a prolific artist who worked in a variety of mediums and subject matters. He was a talented portrait artist as well as landscape artist.

In addition to the Wellington museum, several Cleveland museums carry his work including the Cleveland Museum of Art and Cleveland History Center/Western Reserve Historical Society. A dedicated plot just east of Cleveland City Hall is known as Willard Park.

A search in Cleveland’s The Plain Dealer archived newspaper articles, resulted in stories about Cleveland artists which included Archibald Willard and photos of him working in his studio.

Archibald MacNeal Willard in his studio (Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer, December 17, 1899, Several of Cleveland's Well Known Artists Seen At Work In Their Studios).

Archibald MacNeal Willard in his studio (Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer, December 17, 1899, Several of Cleveland’s Well Known Artists Seen At Work In Their Studios).

He had a friendship with Hugo, and gave him a portrait photo of himself, plus as a wedding gift in 1902 an original landscape oil painting, which resembles the area’s Chagrin River. In addition my great grandfather received a small statue of The Spirit of ’76 from Mr. Willard, which may be a one of a kind working prototype in porcelain by Stanway.

Hugo Max Schmitz co-founded the Schmitz-Horning Company in 1905, a well-regarded scenic wall paper and mural manufacturing firm, and was president of the company until 1938, when his son Warren Reynolds Schmitz ran it until the company’s closing around 1960.

Landscape oil painting by Archibald Willard (Schmitz family archives).

Landscape oil painting by Archibald Willard (Schmitz family archives).

Statue of Spirit of '76 by Archibald Willard (Schmitz family archives).

Statue of Spirit of ’76 by Archibald Willard (Schmitz family archives).

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Former Schmitz-Horning Company Building Destroyed by Fire

January 24, 2017

By Janet Dodrill

schmitz-horning-company-cleveland-ohio-plant-about-1925

The Schmitz-Horning Company building, Cleveland, Ohio, about 1925. (Schmitz family archives)

In April 2011 when I began my research into family-owned Schmitz-Horning Company (Cleveland, Ohio, 1905-1960), a prominent high-end mural and wall covering manufacturer and printer (co-founded and run by my great-grandfather and later by my grandfather), two things happened. First, I discovered a black and white photograph of the building from around 1925 in our family documents. Second, after Googling the building’s address of 777 E. 82nd Street in Cleveland, search results showed it was being occupied by an industrial chemical company, and the building looked well maintained from the photo on Google street view.

777 E. 82nd Street, Cleveland, Ohio Photo: Google, 2007

777 E. 82nd Street, Cleveland, Ohio
Photo: Google, 2007

Excited about the find, it was my intention to go see the building. Several months rolled by and I Googled the business address again and many recent articles dated June 27, 2011 came up stating that an accidental fire had destroyed the building, most likely started by roofers, drawing 60 firefighters from 15 departments — a triple three alarm fire! Fortunately, no one was injured.

777 E. 82nd Street, Cleveland, Ohio Photo: Cleveland.com, June 27, 2011

Fire at 777 E. 82nd Street, Cleveland, Ohio
Photo: Cleveland.com, June 27, 2011

Initially, the owner announced plans to rebuild on the same site but renovated offices were built directly across the street in other facilities owned by the company. The site where the building once stood is today a lot for parking and storage of machinery and equipment.

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