books & manuscripts
Crucible Furniture Design Archive
1960 - 1970
International shipping available
Customs duties and taxes may apply.
Ships from: Maryland, United States
Taxes not included
VAT and other taxes are not reflected in the listed pricing. Read more
Archive of the Crucible Furniture Corporation's product photographs, internal documents, and marketing materials: a treasury of American furniture design.
Weinstock's Crucible Corporation supplied seating to many iconic locations, including the 5th Avenue Revlon Salon, the Kennedy Airport, and San Francisco's Fairmount Hotel, among many other public buildings. As a supplier to architectural, institutional, and commercial interior designers for over 50 years, Crucible was a significant contributor to the 'look' of the public-facing 20th century: not only showpieces like the aforementioned lobbies and lounges, but the everyday stools, chairs, and tables of of theaters, classrooms, and restaurants; the shapes one sees and touches every day that form the greater shape of contemporary life. Born in 1924, the Polish-born Weinstock was most active in the 1940s through the 1970s, and by the later decades of his career was one of the last furniture designers and manufacturers remaining in New York City.
This archive includes original product photographs, magnificently alone or staged on plush carpeting, set off by marble busts; sales brochures, design specs, advertising materials, clippings from industry publications (among them: Furniture Production Magazine's tech report on secret developments in Rigid Foam; an article on the special requirements of psychiatric ward design with photo credits to Crucible, alongside Herman Miller and Knoll); and advertisements featuring Weinstock or other Crucible personnel and products. A curious inclusion is one small notebook of design sketches followed by handwritten notes: various puns, quotations, and aphorisms, possibly intended for advertising use, along with a series of apparently original observations on city scenes and the passers-by who sooner or later would sit in a Crucible chair (e.g., "She wore her martyrdom & her goodness like jewelry (woman on a bus)"; "To the world he contributed nothing but demands & complaints").
A fascinating collection from a firm whose craftsmanship and conception of public space helped form the essential experience of waiting in comfort or anticipation, in liminal spaces; from gleaming white hotel lobby barrel chairs like cushioned bathtubs, to the vast connected rows of lecture hall seating, to the imperceptibly nervous-making lines of airport lounges: a smooth silhouette with a core of iron in the bustling heart of the city and the century.
Photographer and/or designer names stamped on versos of some photos.
Pen or colored pencil notations on rectos and versos of several photos.
Crucible employee Vera White's name written or printed on a significant number of documents throughout the collection.
Contents in generally very good condition, with many photographs fine.
Wear and chipping to magazine pages.
Slight yellowing and general edgewear to documents throughout.
Conditions of Business
Please note that the cancellation right for EU/UK purchasers applies to this item. Please read Condition 19 of the Buy Now Marketplace Conditions of Business for buyers for more information. Read more here.