Masters of metalwork

A new exhibition at the Smithsonian Institution Building presents a small sampling of the wide variety of objects produced by Bradley and Hubbard Manufacturing Co. of Meriden, Conn., selected from the Smithsonian’s Castle Collection.

Bradley and Hubbard was a major producer of lighting and decorative household and office items from 1854 until 1940.  Their products were marketed not only in their own showrooms in New York, Boston, Chicago and Philadelphia, but also by a force of salesmen traveling throughout the country and by the large retail firms Marshall Field & Co., Sears and Roebuck & Co., and Montgomery Ward & Co. Attesting to the high quality, artistic merit and wide appeal of their products the company declared that “The goods which we manufacture are not bought simply by the well‑to‑do, although many people incline to term them luxury. There is a good demand for them from the middle and artisan classes.”

Inkwells and desk accessories from the Bradley and Hubbard Collection.

To view more Bradley and Hubbard objects please visit the website (click on the exhibit in the left hand column).

(Contributed by Richard Stamm, curator of the SI Castle Collection.)

Posted: 22 November 2010
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