The Rise of Big Industry


The Industrial Revolution in England in the late 1700s and in America in the 1800s led to increased manufacturing capabilities and improved transportation methods. Manufacturers gradually advertised and exported their wares on the international stage. As a result, a greater variety of goods were available to Americans. Later in the 1800s, however, there was a movement away from industrialization and a call to return to handcrafted production methods.

NK7899 B61c TC- Winterthur Library Revealed

1959.0631- Winterthur Library RevealedCatalogue of doorknobs, escutcheons, door knockers, furniture brasses, sconces, etc.
England; about 1789
NK7899 B61c* TC Printed Book and Periodical Collection, gift of the Friends of Winterthur

Made in the workshop of Jonathan Gostelowe
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; 1775–93
1959.0631 Bequest of Henry Francis du Pont

This British metalwork trade catalogue was owned by a partner in a Philadelphia mercantile firm that imported goods in the late 1700s. Much of the hardware shown in the catalogue was sold to Philadelphia cabinetmakers and can be found on furniture in the Winterthur collection, including this Chippendale-style chest of drawers.

Collection 311- Winterthur Library Revealed

1970.0003- Winterthur Library RevealedToy catalogue
By G. G. Fendler & Co.
Nuremberg, Germany; 1818–40
Watercolor, gouache, iron gall ink, graphite
85×130 Downs Collection, gift of the Friends of Winterthur and special funds purchase

Made by Joseph C. Hart
New York, New York; 1824
Mahogany, brass, iron, ivory
1970.0003 Museum purchase

In the 1800s, Germany exported many toys to the United States and influenced toy manufacture here. Joseph Hart possibly modeled this orrery—a three-dimensional planetarium—on a German one, such as that seen in this plate from a toy catalogue.

Document 257 pl. 14- Winterthur Library Revealed

Document 257 pl. 132a - Winterthur Library RevealedDrawing of chairs
Made by Gillow & Co.
England; about 1845
Ink and watercolor wash
92×30 Downs Collection, gift of Edmond L. Lincoln

Drawing of window draperies
Made by Gillow & Co.
England; about 1845
92×30 Downs Collection, gift of Edmond L. Lincoln

An English furnituremaking and upholstery firm, Gillow & Co. opened around 1730 and remained in business for two centuries. By following the changing styles in home furnishings, the company enjoyed much success in England. Gillow & Co. also thrived by shipping many of their goods across the Atlantic Ocean. These drawings in the Sheraton style are copies of ones from decades earlier that were shown to prospective clients.

Document 543- Winterthur Library Revealed


Catalogue of drawings for Japanese goods
Japan; 1860–80
Watercolor, gouache, ink, gilt
75×27.1 Downs Collection, gift of the Friends of Winterthur

These delicate, handmade porcelain goods from Japan were created for export to the West.



NK2265 R88 TC- Winterthur Library RevealedAurora Colonial Furniture
By the Roycroft Shops, published by the company
East Aurora, New York; 1904
NK2265 R88 TC Printed Book and Periodical Collection, gift of the Friends of Winterthur

The chair illustrated here epitomizes the popularity of handmade goods at the turn of the century. The Roycroft Shops marketed assorted handcrafted home furnishings through catalogue sales during the first two decades of the 1900s.

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