Schmitz-Horning Wallpaper Discovered in Family Photos

April 30, 2020
Chinese Floral wallpaper pattern blue color in a Schmitz-Horning Company catalog.

Chinese Floral wallpaper pattern blue color in a Schmitz-Horning Company catalog.

By Janet Dodrill

Growing up in the Schmitz family, our house was lined with Schmitz-Horning Company wallpaper! The company was co-founded by my great grandfather, Hugo M. Schmitz I, in 1905, who served as president. After his death in 1938 the company was run by his son and my grandfather, Warren R. Schmitz, until it closed about 1964.

My parents bought the family house from my grandparents, and it had Schmitz-Horning wallpaper in almost every room. Additionally, many family friends and extended family also displayed the company’s wallpaper in their homes. It was high quality and the patterns were beautiful.

After we purchased the house from my grandparents, we remodeled. It was the 1960s and we wanted a more modern look. Luckily my dad took a few interior photographs before all the wallpaper was stripped and removed.

Recently, I was going through one of my grandmother’s photo albums and found a few more shots of the wallpaper she had captured in the homes of friends and family, mostly in the 1940s. Here are a few photos from the albums with their corresponding catalog page.

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

 

Chinese Floral, Schmitz-Horning Company wallpaper pattern, from a Schmitz family photo album.

Chinese Floral, Schmitz-Horning Company wallpaper pattern, from a Schmitz family photo album.

Chinese Floral wallpaper pattern in a Schmitz-Horning Company catalog.

Chinese Floral wallpaper pattern in a Schmitz-Horning Company catalog.

Westchester Hunt, Schmitz-Horning Company wallpaper pattern, from a Schmitz family photo album.

Westchester Hunt, Schmitz-Horning Company wallpaper pattern, from a Schmitz family photo album.

Schmitz-Horning Company catalog cover showing the Westchester Hunt scenic pattern.

Schmitz-Horning Company catalog cover showing the Westchester Hunt scenic pattern.

Westchester Hunt wallpaper pattern in a Schmitz-Horning Company catalog.

Westchester Hunt wallpaper pattern in a Schmitz-Horning Company catalog.

Westchester Hunt Kro-Mura(TM) wallpaper schematic from a Schmitz-Horning Company catalog.

Westchester Hunt Kro-Mura(TM) wallpaper schematic from a Schmitz-Horning Company catalog.

Old Dominion, Schmitz-Horning Company wall mural, from a family photo, with Warren R. Schmitz pictured on the left.

Old Dominion, Schmitz-Horning Company wall mural, from a family photo, with Warren R. Schmitz pictured on the left.

Old Dominion, scenic wall paper manufactured by Schmitz-Horning Company.

Old Dominion, scenic wall paper manufactured by Schmitz-Horning Company.

Old Dominion scenic wallpaper detail by Schmitz-Horning Company.

Old Dominion scenic wallpaper detail by Schmitz-Horning Company.

Schmitz-Horning Company scenic wallpaper similar to the Elysia pattern, from a Schmitz family photo album.

Schmitz-Horning Company scenic wallpaper similar to the Elysia pattern, from a Schmitz family photo album.

Elysia scenic wallpaper pattern in a Schmitz-Horning Company catalog.

Elysia scenic wallpaper pattern in a Schmitz-Horning Company catalog.

World Map, Schmitz-Horning Company scenic wallpaper pattern, from a family photo.

World Map, Schmitz-Horning Company scenic wallpaper pattern, from a family photo.

World Map, one sheet wallpaper pattern in a Schmitz-Horning Company catalog.

World Map, one sheet wallpaper pattern in a Schmitz-Horning Company catalog.

Ming Floral, Schmitz-Horning Company scenic wall covering, from a Schmitz family photo.

Ming Floral, Schmitz-Horning Company scenic wall covering, from a Schmitz family photo.

Ming Floral scenic wall covering in a Schmitz-Horning Company catalog, shown in sections.

Ming Floral scenic wall paper panel detail from a Schmitz-Horning Company catalog.

Ming Floral scenic wall paper panel detail from a Schmitz-Horning Company catalog.


Schmitz-Horning Co. Ming Floral Scenic Wallpaper Pattern

January 11, 2014

By Janet Dodrill

Schmitz-Horning Co. Ming Floral Scenic Wallpaper Artist's Rendering.

Schmitz-Horning Co. “Ming Floral” Scenic Wallpaper (Artist’s Rendering).

Recently, I was contacted by someone online who asked if I knew anything about the Schmitz-Horning Company’s “Ming Floral” wallpaper pattern. They stated that their grandfather was a painter/wallpaperer in the 1930s through ’60s, and that he had saved three panels of the wallpaper.

I know the pattern, a lovely one — we had it in a bedroom at our family home where I grew up in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. The house originally belonged to my grandfather, Warren R. Schmitz, who ran the company after my great-grandfather’s (Hugo M. Schmitz) death in 1938.

Schmitz-Horning Co. "Ming Floral" Scenic Wallpaper Panels.

Schmitz-Horning Co. “Ming Floral” Scenic Wallpaper Panels.

The Cleveland-based company employed and contracted with many Cleveland area artists, and I believe that artists/illustrators were used from England and that the paper was distributed there as well. The papers were printed using presses capable of oversized printing, the only of their kind in the country at the time. High quality oil-based inks were used on sturdy paper, that enabled the papers to be washed and to retain colors. The company did art murals/wall scenes or friezes that were tastefully designed but affordable, and later scenics and continuous panoramics that surrounded a room were available for homes and public buildings.

A patent was filed in 1906 for the printed frieze for walls by Hugo M. Schmitz, his business partner William Horning, and his top salesman, Warren R. Cox. An article he wrote was published in an architectural decorating magazine at the turn of the century about the friezes. He was an artist himself and designed some of the paper.

On the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum web site, scenic panel, “Ming Floral,” is a 1939 chromolithograph, but they are in the process of digitizing images of S-H wallpaper (gifts of the Wallpaper Council, Inc.).

According to a 1950 S-H Scenic Paper price list, Ming Floral was available in white, pale yellow, gray, and turquoise. A full set of four panels was $30.00, and price per section was $8.50. In another, perhaps earlier catalog, it was priced $7.50. Each panel was 40″ x 80″ in size. The panels contained imagery of plants, flowers, birds, bamboo trees, and turf. It was from an original hand-painted Chinese design.

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