Chair design has evolved slowly through the centuries, but an innovative designer -- using new materials or new structural shapes -- can make furniture that looks radically different from anything else that's on the market.
George Hunzinger was a German cabinetmaker who moved to New York in 1855. He patented furniture designs using new materials and new technology. Many of his chairs looked as if they were made from machine parts such as pipes, screws or bolts. Some were folding chairs and some were rigid chairs that just looked as if they could fold.
The upholstery on the chairs also was unusual. One patent was issued for a material made by weaving flat wire that was covered with a woven textile. The wires made a comfortable open-work seat that needed no cushion.
Most of the chairs were upholstered with luxurious, tufted fabrics, embroidered trim, tassels and other embellishments.
Hunzinger died in 1898. His family continued the business until 1925. The current exhibition of his furniture at the Brooklyn Museum of Art in New York City is sure to add to collector interest in his work.
I recently saw a new "Little Lulu" cartoon on HBO with Tracey Ullman doing Lulu's voice. I remember watching Little Lulu cartoons on television in the '50s, and I still have a drinking glass with her picture on it. When did Little Lulu first appear?
Little Lulu, a mischievous girl who refused to be excluded by the boys, debuted in a 1935 Saturday Evening Post panel drawn by Marjorie "Marge" Henderson Buell.
Four years later, the Knickerbocker Toy Co. began making Little Lulu dolls. Some were offered as premiums to Post subscribers.
From 1943 to 1948, Lulu starred in animated cartoons that later ran on television. New cartoons were made in the '70s and the mid-'90s.
Lulu appeared in comic books from 1945 to the 1980s, in a daily newspaper comic strip from 1950 to 1969, and in Kleenex advertisements from 1944 to 1960.
Your glass dates from the '40s, when the milkman delivered it filled with cottage cheese. It's worth more than $50.
When I was a kid in the early '50s, my mom gave me a metal Dinky Toy garbage truck. I still have it. I didn't think it was odd at the time, but now I'm wondering if many toy companies made garbage trucks.
Toy companies have made a lot more dump trucks than garbage trucks, but several manufactured toy garbage trucks in the '50s.
Dinky Toys made two of the very first, a Bedford refuse wagon in 1948 and a Ford garbage truck in 1950. Each is about 4 1/2 inches long and worth about $100.
Tip: Replace broken or scratched watch crystals immediately. The crack might let moisture get to the works.
Pub Date: 4/05/98