Moment of Indiana History

Showers Brothers Furniture

0ne of the more significant producers of furniture in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Indiana was known for the hickory-stick and Amish styles, not to mention the Wooton Cabinet Office Secretary, a desk that was all the rage in the Victorian era. The Showers Brothers Furniture Company of Bloomington , was hailed in its time as “The World’s Largest Furniture Factory,” producing sixty percent of all furniture made in the United States by the 1920′s. The company set up shop on Bloomington ‘s courthouse square in the 1860′s. William, James and Hull Showers took over the company from their cabinet-maker father Charles in 1868 so that he could resume his work as a Methodist minister.

After several relocations, Showers Brothers eventually occupied a seven-acre complex on Morton Street. The company distinguished itself in its hiring practices and employee benefits programs, and was exceptional in its hiring of African-Americans. Offered homeownership incentives by the company, many black employees came to settle Bloomington’s near-west side neighborhood, which was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1997. The company’s main facility, a huge sawtooth-roofed structure built in 1910, sat dormant for a half-century after the company folded in the 1950s. After a restoration project in the 1990s, the building now houses Bloomington ‘s government offices as well as private firms and university departments.

  • Theresa Anderson

    I am refinishing a dinning room table for my son, The table was originally owned by my mother-in-law, and she was extremely proud of it. I am trying to track down the age of the table. The table was bought from The Fair Store in Marshfield Wisconsin 54449. I believe it was in the early 1950's, but am not certain. I have the following model number — 2109 C BW EX TA TOP, Can anyone help solve this mystery?

  • Mary Holcomb

    I came across a buffet/china cabinet in an estate sale that was one of the most beautiful pieces of antique furniture I had seen for awhile. I decided to purchase the piece. I like to explore and find information on the pieces that I purchase. This piece is very unique. Onl the back is a label that has Showets Brothers Company form Bloomington, Indiana – Bedroom, Dining Room and Kitchen furniture. I have researched the company and apparently the name on the label is incorrectly spelled. The number is 2036-B, 5 foot long with four legs in front, 2 drawers in the middle and a door on each side that is about 30 inches long. There is two legs in the back. Can you please refer me to someone that may give me informaiton on this piece. Thank you.

  • Jrgorham

    we have a pice it says its a bedroom diningroom and kitchen furniture is there any one who can tell me how to look up this bench i have serial no. for it and everything please le me know email me at jrgorham@yahoo.com my name is Jake

  • Tfisher22

    I have a china cabinet that I had inherited from my grandmother she had purchased
    it in the early 1930' s the cabinet is made by showers brothers dated late 1800's. It
    still has the original glass and had duck tail carving in the drawer, does anybody know
    what the value might be?

  • Heidi

    I believe that I have a piece similar to the one you are asking about, mine has a stamp 2035-B, did you ever get any information on yours?  You can email me at lovin_licia_12@yahoo.com.  Thank you.

  • Jopri7

    I have Showers Brothers furniture (vanity, chair, dresser, chest).  Am interested in knowing the value.  Do you know how to research?  Jopri7@aol.com

  • Bwashausen

    I have a Showers Brothers Buffet, bought late 1930′s, I have the apparent catalog number and / or its serial number, CREDENZA 2228, I would like to know the estimated value before I take it to an antique dealer and possibly get under quoted. If anyone has any searching advice I would appreciate any suggestions.

  • build direct discount code

    I have a indian cabinet that I inherited from my grandpa. He had bought it in early 1940 ‘s cabinet is made by the brothers showers of late 1900. It still has the original glass. 

  • Wonderful50s

    The Company is Showers Brothers

  • nogoodgypsy

    did u ever get any info on your furniture?i also purchased a vanity & dresser.catalogue #’s are 2433 1/2 & 1433 1/2 . please email me if you know where to get info on them. catbaker02@yahoo.com.thankyou

  • Mmyanki53

    I have a Shower Brothers Company, Bloomington, Indiana dining table, 1 arm chair, 5 no arm chairs, and matching buffet # 73683-50468 oak/red mahogany. I have been told its from late 1800′s, I’m trying to find out the value could you help me to find this out.

  • barbg1958

    i believe i have a shower brothers wardrobe. would like to find ou
    t its value.

  • Jeremymcgregor1976

    I have a showers 1868 buffet. It has 2 slide out drawers on the front and open swing doors on the sides. It has a front and back legs on the ends but just 2 legs on the front in the middle. On the left handed side open swing door on the inside it has a stemp that says showers furniture 1868. I have no clue if it is worth anything. I didn’t know if u had any clue. I would appreciate any feedback u could give me. My email address is jeremymcgregor1976@yahoo.com. thank you

  • janet allen

    I also have a vanity with mirror and bench. I would like any info. you have on pricing these pieces. Myemail is jaallen48@gmail.com  please put subject Vanity so I will open mail

Stay Connected

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Moment of Indiana History:

Support For Indiana Public Media Comes From

About Moment of Indiana History

Search Moment of Indiana History

WFIU is on Twitter