Thursday, March 26, 2015


The subject of New Orleans brackets is frequently a hot topic for researchers. Thanks to a grant from the Heritage Preservation Education Foundation, many of the Southeastern Architectural Archive's and the Canadian Centre for Architecture's historic building trade catalogs have been digitized and are available through the Internet Archive's Building Technology Heritage Library.

Notable catalogs published by New Orleans building concerns include the following:

Roberts & Company's Illustrated Catalogue of Mouldings, Architectural and Ornamental Wood Work, Door and Window Frames, Sash, Doors and Blinds, Brackets and Cornices, Porch Columns, Balustrades, Fences, Counters, Shelving and Store Fittings, designed and compiled by William Bell, superintendent, Louisiana Steam Sash, Blind and Door Factory. New Orleans, 1891.

The Southeastern Architectural Archive's current Bungalows exhibit features catalogs with Queen Anne and bungalow brackets.

The Louisiana Research Collection, another of Tulane University's Special Collections units, houses other important postbellum catalogs that include brackets:

Roberts & Company. Illustrated Catalogue of Mouldings, Architectural & Ornamental Wood Work Designed and Compiled by William Bell. New Orleans, 1880. TH1155.R62 1880

Orleans Manufacturing and Lumber Company. Combined Book of Orleans Mfg. & Lumber Co., Limited. New Orleans, Louisiana: manufacturers of cypress sash, doors, blinds, mouldings, stair work, mantels, and all kinds of interior and exterior finish ; glass lists, latest styles, elevations, designs, etc., of embossed, ground, and cut glass ; brackets, scroll and turned work, wood drapery, store fronts, corner blocks and beads, plinth blocks, sawed and turned balustrades, door and window frames, pulpits, pew ends, etc. ; also revised edition New universal moulding book giving full size of mouldings, and their exact measurement in inches on each moulding. Chicago: Rand McNally, 1893. NA2850.O75 1893

The Williams Research Center at the Historic New Orleans Collection houses another early catalog with New Orleans connections:

W.B. Judson. The Standard Moulding Book: a catalogue of mouldings, brackets, architraves, balusters, newel posts, pew ends, stail railing, etc., with new and improved designs for doors, door frames, windows, store fronts, elevations, etc., etc. Chicago: Lumberman Publishing, 1882.

The University of California Santa Barbara's Lawrence B. Romaine Trade Catalog Collection includes publications by the Lhote Lumber Company (Old Basin Canal) and the Louisiana Red Cypress Company.

& the City of New Orleans' Historic District Landmarks Commission maintains helpful guidelines that include photographs and stylistic descriptions of brackets.

For Sears Catalog brackets, click here.

Images above:  Bracket. Ripley Residence. 1420 Harmony Street, New Orleans, LA. Project Number 1052. Circa 1963-64. William T. Nolan Office Records, Southeastern Architectural Archive, Special Collections Division, Tulane University Libraries.

"Bungalow Brackets" from Lafayette Sash and Door Factory. Standard Miniature Millwork Design Book. Lafayette, Louisiana, 1928. Architectural Trade Catalogs, Southeastern Architectural Archive, Special Collections Division, Tulane University Libraries.

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