Friday, August 26, 2011

Keeping the Metric System Down

Back in North Minneapolis, we have Bardwell-Robinson Co., mill works of high grade interior finish. The company dates to 1873, via various name and ownership configurations and locations. These "extensive works" were built in 1885 and were one of twelve remaining companies in Minneapolis involved in the manufacture of sash, doors and blinds listed in Isaac Atwater's, History of the City of Minneapolis published in 1893.

You can get a copy of their Universal Millwork Design book, No. 20, from Amazon if you're willing to spend $99. At least it looks old.

Charles Bardwell, a civil war veteran, built the Bardwell-Ferrant House, featuring, no surprise, fancy woodwork and moldings. Despite periodic attempts at preservation, the house has been through some tough times. His son, L.J. Bardwell was born in 1872 and eventually came to be president of the company after his father's death in 1892. L.J. was active in Republican politics, but I've yet to be able to connect him to Winfield W. Bardwell, who ran for judge in 1836 with the slogan "Ask your lawyer -- he knows!" If that isn't sage advice, I don't know what is. (It looks like they are not related, but the slogan was too good not to include)

Not to be forgotten, the Robinson family has it origins in County Cork, Ireland, where my great-great-grandfather was born before immigrating (like many, many others from one of the poorer parts of that country). Like Judge Bardwell, H.A. Robinson (son of the Robinson that is one of the company's namesakes) was a mason. Hmm.

1 comment:

  1. I live in San Francisco, Ca and was talking to my grandma last night and she always talked about her dad's window and sash company. I decided to look it up and this was her father's company. It was pretty exciting to see. I have always thought ghost signs are pretty cool but this made even more so. Thank you for this.