The Works Progress Act created jobs in the Evansville area beginning in May 1935. A local headquarters was set up in the old Crescent Furniture Factory (located on the Northeast corner of First Ave. and Franklin St.). Due to Evansville’s history of multiple furniture companies and local craftsmen, a miniature furniture factory was set up on the second floor. It employed seven men who created around 100 pieces of miniature furniture every year between March 1938 and June 1942. They used a scale of two inches to a foot. The supervisor Rheinhard Schmitt researched and drafted all the blueprints. Each craftsman was assigned a part of the furniture to make. The furniture pieces were used as educational tools and had to be ordered by schools, museums, or libraries.
The miniature furniture was meticulously made to represent different time periods between the 1600s – 1800s including Brittany and Early American. Pieces include beds, chairs, cupboards, and tables. If a piece has moving parts like a rotating knob or leaves on a table raise and lower, the miniature furniture has the same ability.
The Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library has several of these pieces. About half the collection is currently on display in the Indiana Room at EVPL Central. In honor of May’s National Preservation Month, we encourage you to stop by EVPL Central to look over these pieces.
With 8 locations throughout Vanderburgh County, EVPL is ready to discover, explore, and connect WITH you! We encourage you to uncover new things, revisit old favorites, and to engage with us along the way.
200 SE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd
Evansville, Indiana 47713