Thursday, June 25, 2009

Door Hardware a Sign of the Times (Early to Mid 1900s)

The start of the 1900s brought about a distinctive change in American architectural movements. Gone were the frills of the Victorian design with the emergence of the Art Deco and Arts and Crafts movements. These two movements, however, were very different from each other.

The beginnings of the Arts and Crafts movement can be traced to the late 1800s and lasted through the Early 1900s. The Arts and Crafts movement shunned mass production brought about by the Industrial Revolution in favor of the virtues of hand craftsmanship. The Arts and Crafts movement also emphasized the beauty of nature and simplicity of design rather than the elaborate embellishments characteristic of past architectural movements. The Craftsman bungalow is the quintessential example of Arts and Crafts architecture. Door hardware of the period was often simple like reproduction Prairie doorplate set by Nostalgic Warehouse (right) and the handcrafted Greene doorplate set by Craftsmen Hardware (left).

The Art Deco movement took shape as World War 1 came to an end. The Art Deco period reached its height of popularity during the Roaring 20s when the country enjoyed prosperity and seemingly endless optimism, however, interest waned as the Great Depression took hold. While the Arts and Craft movement held to many of the virtues of the past, the Art Deco period embraced the future. Art Deco design was characterized by symmetry, angles, and modern clean lines. These characteristics can be found in the architecture of the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building as well as the Art Deco style door hardware manufactured by Nostalgic Warehouse.

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