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.

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


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