Schmitz-Horning’s Wells Fargo Scenic Wallpaper

February 29, 2020

By Janet Dodrill

Wells Fargo was a scenic wallpaper pattern manufactured by the Schmitz-Horning Company of Cleveland, Ohio. The pattern can be seen in the late 1950s company line and catalog, Murals of America. It was available in two ink color options and two paper colors choices, pattern numbers 77411, 77412, 77421, and 77422.

The Cleveland History Center of Western Reserve Historical Society has a complete set of this pattern in their collection. Another pattern in the same style and color schemes and by the same artist, was called Anchor Inn. It was considered a companion to Wells Fargo and could be used in the same room if ordered in the same run.

Recently, someone in Pennsylvania contacted me who purchased the Wells Fargo wall mural set from an auction in New Jersey, still in the original box.

Paul A. Meunier, an artist at Schmitz-Horning in the 1930s, who became president of Cleveland’s R.E. May, Inc. (lithographic plate company), had a personal collection of lithographs, and in a 1960s company catalog photo taken in the office, a framed version of the Wells Fargo mural can be seen hanging on the wall.

Specifications (Murals of America catalog):
A washable scenic paper in four sections each 40″ wide by 80″ high. It is a self-finishing “vignette” style mural. The wings L & R are printed on one section which must be cut apart. Lowest point of design starts 6″ from bottom of the paper and extends 45″ high, leaving 29″ of background above highest clouds. Background sections are available to file in at ends, top, and bottom of the mural.

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Murals of America by Schmitz-Horning

Murals of America by Schmitz-Horning.

Schmitz-Horning Company Wells Fargo scenic wall mural pattern number 77411

Schmitz-Horning Company’s Wells Fargo scenic wall mural pattern, no. 77411.

Schmitz-Horning Company Wells Fargo scenic wall mural pattern number 77411 detail

Schmitz-Horning Company’s Wells Fargo scenic wall mural pattern, no. 77411, detail.

Schmitz-Horning Company Wells Fargo scenic wall mural pattern 77411 detail

Schmitz-Horning Company’s Wells Fargo scenic wall mural pattern, no. 77411, detail.

Schmitz-Horning Company Wells Fargo scenic wall mural pattern number 77412

Schmitz-Horning Company’s Wells Fargo scenic wall mural pattern, no. 77412.

Schmitz-Horning Company Wells Fargo scenic wall mural pattern number 77421

Schmitz-Horning Company’s Wells Fargo scenic wall mural pattern, no. 77421.

Schmitz-Horning Company Wells Fargo scenic wall mural pattern number 77422

Schmitz-Horning Company’s Wells Fargo scenic wall mural pattern, no. 77422.

Schmitz-Horning Company Anchor Inn scenic wall mural pattern number 77311

Schmitz-Horning Company’s Anchor Inn scenic wall mural pattern, no. 77311, a companion paper by the same artist and using the same color schemes.

Murals of America by Schmitz-Horning Wells Fargo pattern

A photograph of the Wells Fargo pattern in Schmitz-Horning Company’s Murals of America catalog.
Catalog description: Wells Fargo is a self-finishing vignette 12′ 8″ in length. It will cut down for shorter walls or will center nicely on much longer walls. There is excellent detail in this mural of a frontier town.

wells fargo mural at r e may litho plate company

Wells Fargo mural hanging in the offices of R.E. May, Inc. litho plate company as shown in this photo from a 1960s catalog. (Source: remay.com)


Original Wall Mural Designs from Schmitz-Horning Company

January 29, 2020

By Janet Dodrill

Beautiful original scenic wall covering designs, in a variety of mediums, such as watercolor, guoache, and oil, on paper or illustration board, from the Schmitz-Horning Company (1905-1964), discovered in the Hugo M. and Warren R. Schmitz family archives.

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Wall Mural Design Panels for Schmitz-Horning-Company, Floral Garden by Hugo Max Schmitz, early 1900s.

Wall Mural Design Panels for Schmitz-Horning-Company, Floral Garden by Hugo Max Schmitz, early 1900s.

Original Scenic Wall Covering Design by Artist, Havenstein

Original Scenic Wall Covering Design by Artist, Havenstein.

schmitz-horning company wallpaper design color palette

Color Palette.

Original Scenic Wall Mural design Schmitz-Horning Company

Original Scenic Wall Mural design, Artist Unknown, Schmitz-Horning Company.

schmitz-horning company wallpaper design color palette

Color Palette.


Early Postcard of Schmitz-Horning Co. Wallpaper Pattern

December 29, 2019

By Janet Dodrill

On an eBay search for Schmitz-Horning Company items, I found this postcard portraying one of their bathroom wallpapers, a windmill pattern, from an early catalog (1909-1910).

Until this discovery, I was not aware of the postcard or the company’s attempts at the marketing of their wallpaper.

The postcard reads:
The Windmill
No. 605
A practical bath room decoration, made in Delft blue. Two sections, each 20 inches wide and 60 inches high. Must be alternated to match. Sold by the section
The Schmitz-Horning Co.
Panoramic Friezes
Cleveland, Ohio

It is postmarked Rochester, NY, 1909, with a one cent stamp. The eBay seller shipped it from Pennsylvania.

The Schmitz-Horning Company, a Cleveland-based wall covering manufacturer, was in business from 1905 to 1964. Co-founded by my great-grandfather, Hugo M. Schmitz, it was later run by my grandfather, Warren R. Schmitz.

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The Windmill, Schmitz-Horning Co. wallpaper pattern no. 605, postcard, front, 1909.

The Windmill, Schmitz-Horning Co. wallpaper pattern no. 605, postcard, front, 1909.

 

The Windmill, Schmitz-Horning Co. wallpaper pattern no. 605, postcard, back, 1909.

The Windmill, Schmitz-Horning Co. wallpaper pattern no. 605, postcard, back, 1909.

 

Schmitz-Horning Co. 1909-1910 catalog page, with wallpaper pattern The Windmill, no. 605.

Schmitz-Horning Co. 1909-1910 catalog page, with wallpaper pattern The Windmill, no. 605.


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

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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).


Schmitz-Horning Maytime Pattern No. 8015 Uncovered

January 12, 2019

By Janet Dodrill

A couple months ago I was contacted by email to help identify a Schmitz-Horning Co. frieze or wallpaper pattern. The only information available was the manufacturer name “Schmitz-Horning Co., Cleveland, Ohio, Made in U.S.A.,” the pattern name “Maytime,” and the pattern number “8015,” Section A and Section C. The person was renovating an old home and was curious to see what had been under the layers of wallpaper.

Home being renovated by new owners uncover under layers that wallpaper by Schmitz-Horning was used.

Home being renovated by new owners uncover under layers that wallpaper by Schmitz-Horning was used.

Schmitz-Horning Co., Cleveland, Ohio wall frieze border uncovered in home renovation.

Schmitz-Horning Co., Cleveland, Ohio wall frieze border uncovered in home renovation.

Maytime identified as old wallpaper pattern used in old home.

Maytime identified as old wallpaper pattern used in old home.

After some time searching the family archives, I was able to locate the pattern in Schmitz-Horning Company’s 1937 Kro-Mura™ Wall Decorations Catalog, pages 14 and 15. It was a beautiful fairy-like scenic color lithograph wall covering design, and send images of it to the contact. It is unclear when the pattern was initially produced.

It was rewarding to uncover some of the history of the old home and share in the discovery of this long lost wallpaper design.

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Maytime. This beautiful scenic paper reminds one of fairy-story illustrations. Its unusual charm lies largely in this fairy-lore interest, its dainty handling and refined coloring.

Maytime. This beautiful scenic paper reminds one of fairy-story illustrations. Its unusual charm lies largely in this fairy-lore interest, its dainty handling and refined coloring.

Maytime wall covering pattern by Schmitz-Horning Co. 1937 Kro-Mura catalog specification page.

Maytime wall covering pattern by Schmitz-Horning Co. 1937 Kro-Mura catalog specification page.

Maytime, No. 8015 – Green and pastel

Maytime, No. 8015 – Green and pastel, Maytime wall covering pattern by Schmitz-Horning Co. catalog specification page.

Maytime, Section A, B, C, D

Maytime, Section A, B, C, D, Maytime wall covering pattern by Schmitz-Horning Co. catalog specification page.