Widdicomb: Researching the Grand Rapids Collection

If you've read the timeline on here you'll see mention of Paul McCobb's Grand Rapids Collection, a Widdicomb case piece group to go along with Widdicomb's upholstered Symmetric Group.
I first became aware of this group towards the end of my library research into Paul McCobb, around September 2009, it was then I came across a series of advertisements from A. H. Stiehl published in Interior Design magazine between October 1962 and March 1963.

I had also found the Widdicomb case pieces mentioned in an article titled "Paul McCobb Opens his First Showroom" in the July 1963 issue of Interiors.

"(3) Widdicomb desk with refined architectural detailing in bleached walnut has three drawers. Also from the Widdicomb group are the small side chair and the armless chair with arched caned back."
"(5) Widdicomb case piece with caned open shelf is in bleached Walnut the "Custom Light" finish. Hardware is in nickel-silver finish." The case illustr…

Lane: By The Numbers

A short time ago I put up a little bit of info on Instagram about Lane's Signature and Components groups by Paul McCobb now here's the rest of the info.

McCobb's work for Lane, produced between 1961 and 1965 was comprised of three group: DelineatorSignature, and Components. Signature and Components pieces have proven to be relatively hard to come by so far (which is not to say that Delineator pieces are exactly littering the planet, but they are far easier to obtain than their cousins).

Lane pieces (at least the tables) are easy to understand as they're typically marked with not only the design group number but they also have a "serial number" right below the design number, which is actually the production date written in reverse, so, once you know what you're looking for the tables are easy to identify. And that nicely brings us right around to the topic of this article which is a quick and dirty primer on how to identify Paul McCobb's designs for …

The Baron and The Baroness

After years of searching I have finally managed to acquire a copy of the Electro-Voice brochure for their short lived and mostly forgotten 6200/6210 Electronic Organs titled respectively "The Baron" and "The Baroness", designed by Paul McCobb in 1960.

Looking back through my research I see that I initially learnt of Paul McCobb's work for Electro-Voice in 2009 from a UPI syndicated article published in the July 6, 1960 issue of the Tyrone, Pennsylvania Daily Herald. The article is an interview of Paul McCobb by Joyce Schuller in which McCobb talks about the new organ he designed for Electro-Voice and the best ways to present it in the home. This was not the earliest mention of the organ in the press but it was the first mention which I managed to find, which pointed me in the direction of further McCobb organ research.

The earliest mention of the Electro-Voice Organs in the press is a February 29, 1960 article in Billboard titled "Dealers to Get E-V Organ Fr…

Predictor Linear?

So what do you do when you are presented with something that you fervently believe to be inaccurate but do not have the means to prove as being so? If you’re me you document everything that can be documented, research everything which is researchable, cross the t’s, dot the i’s and wait for more information.

When I saw a listing for the chair pictured above a few years back citing it as “Predictor Linear lounge chairs manufactured in 1958 for the O’Hearn Furniture Company of Gardner, MA.” I did the mid-century researchers version of a spit take. The listing just had to be wrong! For one thing the Predictor Group was produced from 1951-1955 by the O’Hearn Furniture Co. and the totally unrelated Linear Group from 1956-1962 by Calvin Furniture, there’s not even any overlap between the two groups and they look as different as two groups of furniture could possibly be.

The date seemed wrong too… 1958? How could O’Hearn have produced this chair in 1958 when all of the information I had comp…

Blair Aluminum Furniture

It's important to realize that time does not stand still. For a designer this means that design ideas change, new approaches are tried, new materials become popular/available, in general - things move on. Paul McCobb was no different from any other designer in this regard, his designs changed over time and his design work in the 60's was really very different from where he started in the late 40's/early 50's.
Some time around 1960 Paul McCobb and Directional broke the ties that had bound them together and each went their separate ways. Paul McCobb, now a free agent for the first time in a decade, was at first unsure how he was going to proceed (according to interviews with friends and relations) but soon enough opportunities presented themselves, amongst these new opportunities was the chance to design a group of office seating for Blair Aluminum Furniture. This new group of office chairs was very synergistic with the continuing design work McCobb was doing with the Mut…

Lee L. Woodard Sons 1952 Allegro Collection

The very McCobb like Lee L Woodard Sons Allegro group of wrought iron and white Ash was introduced at the Fourth Annual Summer Furniture Market at the Merchandise Mart in Chicago on October 22, 1951 and was in stores in early 1952. The group was a success and was sold throughout the 50’s. 
It was not designed by Paul McCobb.

NYC20 2012

NYC20 2012, a set on Flickr.