Dating vintage wallpaper
Many sold imported English and French wallpapers along with their own productions, offering consumers a choice of pattern types and a range of prices.Rise of American wallpaper: To encourage the production of domestic wallpapers, state and federal officials passed protective tariff legislation that strengthened the fledgling American wallpaper industry, allowing it to secure a foothold in an increasingly competitive marketplace.Wallpapers by several other New England paper strainers are also included in Historic New England’s collection.Ebenezer Clough established his paper staining business in Boston in 1795.By 1810, mills in Massachusetts produced 22,500 rolls for paper hangings and the three paper-staining manufactories in Philadelphia printed 115,000 rolls of wallpaper, making wallpaper an affordable decorating option for a growing number of prosperous middle-class households.American manufacturers were proud of their domestically produced goods.The years following the American Revolution were a fertile period of enterprise for Americans who began to manufacture goods formerly produced and supplied by England.By the late 1780s, a number of paper stainers established workshops in major cities along the Atlantic coast and began to advertise their merchandise.
The simplest of these were called sprig patterns like this neatly composed daisy.
The earliest record of wallpaper in America is in the estate inventory of a Boston stationer in 1700, where “7 quires of painted paper and three reams of painted paper” were listed.
Like all early references, it is more descriptive of quantity than of design.
Another type of large-scaled pattern available to New Englanders was the so-called pillar and arch paper.
These classically inspired architectural designs were printed en grisaille and were most often used in stair halls where the forty-eight-inch repeat would not overpower the space and the pattern would transform it into a series of colonnades.