Shell bonnet secretary


Shell bonnet secretary
Skandia Furniture Co., Rockford, Illinois
Gift of Evelyn Oppenheimer

Skandia Furniture Company, founded in 1889, was one of many furniture manufacturers operating in Rockford, Illinois at the end of the nineteenth century. Known as the Forest City, Rockford was among the leading centers for the production of furniture in the United States by the turn of the twentieth century. Skandia flourished with its line of English revival pieces for residential dining rooms and studies through time of the Great Depression. The depletion of local walnut and oak supplies, however, and the emergence in Rockford of government-contracted machine tool factories which boosted wages for skilled craftspeople, brought a decline to the business. Skandia filed for bankruptcy in 1942.

Evelyn Oppenheimer (1907–1998) donated this elegant little desk to Bridwell Library. Ms. Oppenheimer was a noted book reviewer, author, radio personality, teacher, and literary representative. She gave the substantial archives of her career to Bridwell Library in 1988, as well as a collection of mid-twentieth century first edition books, many of which are signed by the authors. The release of her autobiography, A Book Lover in Texas, was celebrated with a signing at Bridwell in 1995.

Evelyn Oppenheimer archives

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