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Albertson Public Library – Furnishings 1923

The Library Bureau

Library Bureau catalog pages, blue prints, orders, and correspondence provide an interesting look at the process of choosing the furnishings for the new library.

Captain Albertson appears to have made the first contact with the Library Bureau office on Broadway in New York City concerning his preferences for furnishings and shelving for the new library.

E. B. Hussey of the Library Bureau, wrote Sexton Johnson on February 26, 1923, stating that Captain Albertson had advised him that Mr. Johnson was elected chairman of the new established library board. He goes on to explain that a few weeks prior, when he was in Orlando, he visited the architect of the library and had an “interesting talk with Capt. Albertson regarding the equipment.” Read additional correspondence to and from the Library Bureau.

The bids from the Library Bureau present each item, quantity needed and additional details about placement in the different departments or rooms in the new library. Correspondence from the Library Bureau dated March 26, 1923, indicates that librarian Helen Stelle requested a quote for the library board, proving again the importance of her guidance.

“At the request of Miss Helen V. Stelle… we are pleased to quote the following prices covering quartered oak library furniture, finished in one of our standard tones, in accordance with schedule that Miss Stelle has sent us….”


ABOVE: Library Bureau blue print for layout of the furnishings for the Librarians’ Room on the mezzanine dated April 1, 1923.

Helen Virginia Stelle

Tampa Public Library director Helen Virginia Stelle provided her experience and guidance to the library board in the selection of the furnishings for the new library.  It appears that she reviewed all correspondence, recommended furnishings in the Library Bureau catalog, and also scrutinized the final bid.

A letter from Helen dated April 4, 1923, indicates that Sexton Johnson provided her with correspondence received from the Library Bureau for her review, perhaps, when she met with the library board in early March 1923. She also implies that catalog pages attached to this post were cut from her Library Bureau catalog:

“Shall I send you the L. Bur. [Library Bureau] correspondence that you gave me – Letter to Capt. Albertson about furniture? Will you send me a L.B. [Library Bureau] cat. [catalog]. I cut mine and really needed one today.”


ABOVE: Note at bottom of letter from Helen Virginia Stelle to Sexton Johnson, Albertson Library Board President.

Furniture, Shelving, Equipment and more!

Several versions of furniture and equipment lists were prepared to ready the library for the public. It appears that the Library Bureau Company did not supply everything listed, as not all item numbers are from their catalog, and the list includes typewriters from L.C. Smith and Brothers Typewriter Company in Jacksonville, Florida.

The Charging Desk


ABOVE: Charging desk where materials were checked out and returned.


ABOVE: Albertson Public Library’s second librarian (1943-1970), Clara Wendel, at the charging desk.

Tables and Chairs


Library Bureau Company catalog circa 1923.


The Children’s Reading Room with rectangular tables (catalog page 29), round tables (catalog page 30) and children’s chairs (catalog page 34).


Rectangular and round tables, shelves and chairs shown on catalog pages and blueprints.
View all blueprints under Images and Documents below.


Blueprint of the card catalog supplied by the Library Bureau Company.


Card catalog (shown in blue print above) with additional section stacked on top.


Blueprint of staff desks – variation shown in photos above and below.


The Business Department.

It seems the Library Bureau supplied most of the furnishings and equipment for the new library, but local businesses also submitted bids, too. The renowned Yowell-Drew Company, known as “Orlando’s largest store,” submitted bids to provide the shelving and furniture for the library. They probably did not stand a chance since Captain Albertson contacted the Library Bureau in New York and met with their representative in Orlando in early February 1923.


View images of bids from March 3, 1923 and March 15, 1923.

Harry P. Leu, Inc., fabricated a grate and a window guard for the library in 1929. He is one of the most well-known Orlando pioneers.


View entire letter.

Peruse blue prints, catalog pages, and correspondence under Images and Documents below.

Read more about the Albertson Public Library – In the beginning 

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ATTACHMENTS

Blueprints of shelving.

Blueprints created by the Library Bureau company for the Orlando Library Commission.

Blueprint of staff desks.

Blueprints created by the Library Bureau company for the Orlando Library Commission.

Blueprint of charging station

Blueprints created by the Library Bureau company for the Orlando Library Commission.

Blue print of the card catalog

Blueprints created by the Library Bureau company for the Orlando Library Commission.

Blue print of shelving unit.

Blueprints created by the Library Bureau company for the Orlando Library Commission.

Blue print of librarian's office

Blueprints created by the Library Bureau company for the Orlando Library Commission.

Blue print of the stack room

Blueprints created by the Library Bureau company for the Orlando Library Commission.

Library Bureau catalog, p. 29

Rectangular table.

Library Bureau catalog, p. 30

Round table and pedestal table.

Library Bureau catalog, p. 34

Chairs.

Library Bureau Catalog, p. 35

Swivel Chairs

Library Bureau Catalog, p., 45

Combined magazine case and file

Library Bureau catalog, p. 49

Display racks.

Library Bureau catalog, p. 53

Double sided black board

Library Bureau catalog

Newspaper rack

Furniture order - Version one

Variations on furnishings to be ordered for the library from the Library Bureau Company in New York City.

Furniture Order - Version two

Variations on furnishings to be ordered for the library from the Library Bureau Company in New York City.

Furniture Order - Version three

Variations on furnishings to be ordered for the library from the Library Bureau Company in New York City.

Staff Desks

Albertson Public Library staff desks.

Book cases, tables and chairs

Albertson Public Library children's reading room

Book cases, tables and chairs

Albertson Public Library adult reading room

Staff table and card catalog.

Albertson Public Library rectangular table and card catalog.

Yowell-Drew Bid March 3, 1923

Bid for shelving and furnishings submitted to the G. B. Knight of Yowell-Drew in Orlando.

Yowell-Drew bid March 15, 1923

Revised bid for shelving and furnishings submitted to the G. B. Knight of Yowell-Drew in Orlando.

H. P. Leu Bid April 27, 1929

Well know Orlando resident, businessman and philanthropist, Harry P. Leu presented a bid for grates in April 1929.

L.C. Smith & Bros. Typewriter Co.

1923 order for one typewriter from L.C. Smith Typewriter Company in Jacksonville, Florida.

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Blueprint of book shelves

Blueprints created by the Library Bureau Company in New York City for the Albertson Public Library.


Blueprint of the card catalog

Blueprints created by the Library Bureau Company in New York City for the Albertson Public Library.


Blueprint of the charging desk

Blueprints created by the Library Bureau Company in New York City for the Albertson Public Library.


Blueprint of the flat top desk

Blueprints created by the Library Bureau Company in New York City for the Albertson Public Library.


Blueprint of the wall book shelving

Blueprints created by the Library Bureau Company in New York City for the Albertson Public Library.


Blueprint librarian's room

Blueprints created by the Library Bureau Company in New York City for the Albertson Public Library.


Blueprint stack room1st floor

Blueprints created by the Library Bureau Company in New York City for the Albertson Public Library.


Correspondence between Helen Stelle and Sexton Johnson

The Library Board president Sexton Johnson requested that the Tampa and Jacksonville head librarians meet with the board in Orlando and advise them on the new library.


Library Bureau Company proposal for furnishings

The Library Bureau Company of New York City bid for the furnishings for the new Albertson Public Library.


Correspondence from Library Bureau Company

Correspondence, bids, invoices, telegrams from February 1923 to March 1924.


Furniture list

Several iterations of the furniture list for the new library, including furnishings, equipment, etc.


Libraray Bureau Catalog Pages

Pages from Helen Virginia Stelle's Library Bureau catalog sent to Orlando Library Commission president Sexton Johnson.


Yowell-Drew Company 1923

Bids for library shelving and furnishings.


Harry P. Lew Company 1929

Letter from Harry P. Leu confirming receipt of order for window guard and door grate.


L. C. Smith and Brothers 1923

Invoice for one typewriter from L.C. Smith and Brothers in Jacksonville.


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