Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Peck and Hills Furniture Find and Al Capone

What does this fantastic piece of furniture and Al Capone have in common?  This beautiful dresser was made by a company based out of Chicago called Peck and Hills Furniture Company. It was first established in 1896. I really couldn't find a date when they closed but it seems it was the late 1940's, possibly early 1950's, but this is an educated guess. ( If anyone has more information I would love to know).

    So this stamp was inside one of the drawers to identify the manufacturer. I didn't realize this until I got the piece home. It was difficult to find good information about this company, it was a lot like genealogy for furniture. I found an article that was published in Los Angeles in 1941 stating that Peck and Hills Furniture Company was hiring lots of men to help boost the economy. Could this piece be from that boom?

SO- what does this piece have in common with Al Capone? In my searching of this company, a legal document came up many times referring to Al Capone's Tax Evasion smack down. He was brought to the slammer not for being a gangster...but for his taxes. It was stated in some of these documents that he purchased "three or four dollars worth of furniture from Peck and Hills Furniture Co." I know this is really kinda far fetched but I could own a piece of furniture that may or may not have been something he had in his Chicago home.

I didn't get this piece from Chicago, it was a find from the Child Abuse Thrift Store. It was something that I had seen earlier and I kept thinking about it...when that happens I was meant to have it. So I was up late coming up with ideas and woke up early so I could get it first thing in the morning.  You can see it above with a rocking chair and the plants that I hadn't planted yet. (big TO-DO list today).

All the suitcases :-)
This looks like a yard sale. Good thing Lance isn't home. 

Sun bathing beauty!

 Okay, it was $89.98. It was more than I would have liked to spend...but the money was going to Child Abuse, so really there was no bad feelings. Then after getting it home and finding out it was an old find, I couldn't help but feel like it was meant for me.

 The inside of the drawers were in such good shape I left them as is. There was candle wax near this stamp, it was the only clean up I had to do for the inside of the drawers. HAIR DRYER works "wonders" if you ever spill candle wax.

*I know this because we had some house guests stay overnight at our home and decided to use candle wax for one reason or another (eww).  They left the bedroom covered in wax all the way up the wall, in the carpet and splattered on some photo frames. It all cleaned up with a hair dryer and paper towel.  They were NEVER invited back.

Back to the dresser, I had to use my stripper, sander and tools to remove old stain, smooth out rough patches and clean her up. After this she really was beautiful.

*I was born and raised in a hardware store. You always had a ton of jokes for the old guys when they were looking for strippers :-)

 At the end of today I have put my primer on and one coat of paint. I will post later with the finished product ( then you will find out what color I chose).  Also noted that I didn't cut myself or glue myself to anything today. I also finished planting my flowers and washed all of my suitcases. Audrey was in heaven because she got to play with the hose and tried her best to kill the sander.