Furniture - Summary And Hints For Shoppers

( Originally Published 1931 )

1. If you are at all doubtful of what is most appropriate for your needs, consult the interior decorating department in any reputable store and explain your problem fully.

2. Do not be prejudiced against veneer or plywood construction; it is frequently more durable and more adaptable to your needs than the unseasoned solid woods on the market.

3. Inspect every piece of furniture to make sure that it is of sufficiently rugged construction to carry the load and do the work you will expect of it.

4. Unless your need is merely an odd piece, buy all furniture from open stock in well-established stores which will give you assurance that the design you select will be continued in stock.

5. Particularly in February and August do not take at face value every advertisement of a "mark-down" furniture sale. In too many cases the prices from which the mark-downs are taken were entirely fictitious.

6. Make your selections of beds only from those of the sizes and dimensions accepted by the trade as being standard.

7. Before buying a mattress or pillow determine clearly what you will expect of it and choose the type of filling which will best suit your needs. Examine the tufting and the stitching on the seams to see whether the mattress has been properly made.

8. There is no more "wicker" furniture. In its place we have willow, stick reed, woven reed, and the fiber wares for porch and sun-parlor use. In determining values, methods of construction are as important as materials.

9. Beware the "Borax Houses" and their "soft-soap" salesmen.

10. Materials, construction, and care all enter into the problem of outdoor furniture. A chair is not strong just because it is made of iron; look to its braces and other reŽnforcements.


Suite: A set of two or more separate pieces of furniture designed for use together, as for example, a dining-room suite or a porch suite.

Ensemble: A collection of odd pieces which blend well together. Often the basis for furnishing a living room.

Open Stock: A store policy permitting the customer to buy any part of a full set or suite.

Closed Stock: Purchase restricted to the entire suite.

Veneer: A thin slice of finely grained wood glued to a piece of furniture of soft wood to provide a fine surface.

Plywood: From three to seven slices of wood glued together to form the material for furniture construction. Lightness with strength, freedom from warping, and economy are its chief characteristics.

Kapok: An African vegetable fiber which makes a satisfactory filling for mattresses.

Tufting: Method by which mattress filling is evenly distributed and kept in place.

Ticking: Cotton duck used as covering or bag for mattresses (usually of 8-ounce grade) and for pillows (usually of 6-ounce grade).

Wickerware: Now only a memory.

Fiber Furniture; Porch furniture made from paper and glue by a process which, under certain conditions, produces a most satisfactory ware for use in the sun parlor or on the porch.

"Borax-House": Trade slang for a furniture store which deals in cheaper grades of fiber furniture and misleads its customers as to its value.

Habitant: Boards hand-hewn from white-cedar logs and treated with varnish for use in outdoor furniture construction.

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