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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Krom Lace Cabinet Company


This is a drawing submitted to the U.S. Patent office early in the 20th century.

Here's the second page....


I find the artwork interesting.

Chester F. Krom is listed as the inventor, and his paperwork at the U.S. Patent office explains:

Be it known that I, Chester F. Krom, ....have invented a new and useful Improvements in Display Cabinets, of which the following is a specification.

The general object of this invention is to provide a cabinet adapted for displaying bolts of lace and fine trimmings of all kinds.

It is understood that usually the lace is wound upon card boards for facilitating the handling of the same. This, of course, requires constant handling thereof and subjects the goods to great liability of damage.

So, this storage cabinet would help keep your lace trimmings used for dressmaking all clean. I'm still not sure if the cabinet was for the home or for businesses that sold laces and trimmings.

As early as 1910 newspapers such as The Evening Independent (September 4, 1909) mentioned:

St. Petersburg has still another inventor. C.F. Krom, of Smith & Northrup, has applied for a patent on a lace cabinet.

His attorney has informed him that it is new, and there is nothing like it.

The cabinet stands 20 by 30 inches, and is 10 inches deep. The first model is at the store now and differs slightly from the one sent to Washington for patenting.

The latest one has four compartments with hinged doors for each. Each compartment contains 25 reels. Each reel slides out and admits of winding and unrolling.

The beauty of the cabinet is that it holds three times the amount of lace in far less space. Mr. Krom has been working on his invention for about two months. There is a lace cabinet at the store and as he saw many chances for improvement in arrangement and general makeup he thought he would go to work and make a cabinet of his own.

By 1910, Mr. Krom had moved his family to Douglasville per the 1910 Census. He had found a place to manufacture his cabinet and a few men to invest in his new product.

An article in The Atlanta Constitution titled "A New Concern to Open" and dated September 1, 1910 announced:

The Krom Lace Cabinet Company, a new $10,000 company organized [in Douglasville] several weeks ago, will begin active operations within the next few days. The company will manufacture patent lace cabinets, and already agencies have been planted with the largest houses in "the country" and it will mean a great deal to the town and community. The officers and directors of the company are as follows:  J.T. Duncan, President; C.F. Krom, Vice President; J.R. Duncan, Secretary/Treasurer; and C.O. Dorsett, Manager.

The following ad appeared in a trade magazine in 1912...notice the location is Douglasville.


The Duncan brothers had a large concern on Broad Street at the extreme western end of the business district where they sold all sorts of things. I'm not sure where Krom Lace manufactured their cabinets, but Mr. Krom didn't stay in Douglasville long. By the 1920 census the Krom family had moved to another city. 

I do have to wonder about the cabinets.  I wonder if there are any around anywhere sitting in an antique store gathering dust....and not a soul knows what they were used for. 

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