Friday, February 8, 2013

Buffet Cart

The third and final piece of furniture Jay built for Denise's designer booth at the Philadelphia Home Show is this buffet cart.  This buffet is made from a utility cart that was recovered from the Scranton Lace Factory which was founded in 1897 and operated until 2002. The Scranton Lace Factory was the first and largest producers of Nottingham Lace. The lace was made on looms that stood several stories high and were roughly fifty feet long. The factory not only made lace, but also parachutes, tarpaulins and mosquito netting during World War II, and later curtains and other household items as lace began to fall out of fashion.

At nearly 700,000 square feet, the 1,400 workers needed carts to move tools, spools and lace throughout the building. This buffet started as one of those carts!

The cart has handmade wrought iron sides and cast iron wheels. The cart dates to approximately the same era as the factory, making it over 100 years old. After meticulously cleaning and buffing all the cast and wrought iron on the cart, the piece began to come back to life! After applying tung oil to the wood, we fabricated a steel frame to accept a top and used carriage bolts to secure it.

The wood used to make the top dates to even earlier than the cart and was removed from a late 1800’s barn in Pennsylvania. Like the base of the cart, the planks on the top are also oak and contain over a century’s worth of character and history from the people, animals and machinery that moved across the barn floor.

While in its current form, this piece is a beautiful accent to any room, it is our hope that you see much more than “reclaimed” wood and iron. Our sincere hope is that this piece serves as a reminder of the thousands of men and women who used this exact cart and millions like it to run the factories and mills that built this country. For it is those people, the backbone of this country, who afforded us the luxuries and freedoms which we are now accustomed.

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