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Chair, Arm


Russell Senate Office Building Arm Chair
by S. Karpen and Brothers, Chicago, IL
Mahogany, leather, 1909
      Height: 37.75 inches  (95.9 cm)
      Width:  23 inches  (58.4 cm)
      Depth: 23 inches  (58.4 cm)
Cat. no. 65.00123.000

Designed by New York cabinetmaker Thomas D. Wadelton (1861-1931), this leather upholstered mahogany arm chair was custom-made by S. Karpen and Bros. for the Russell Senate Office Building, which opened on March 5, 1909.

A standard set of furniture was made for each room that adjoined the senator’s private suite. The space was generally used by a clerk and stenographer and was outfitted with a rolltop desk and swivel arm chair, a rolltop typewriter desk and swivel chair, a table, two armchairs, and three small side chairs.

For the project, S. Karpen and Bros. of Chicago, Illinois (under contract with George W. Cobb, Jr.) manufactured 226 mahogany chairs at a cost of $20.50 each. In 1933, when the office building was expanded, 28 additional chairs were manufactured in walnut by the W.H. Gunlocke Chair Co. of Wayland, New York (under contract with Walter M. Ballard Co.). For ease of identification, the manufacturer’s contract referred to the chair as “Type N.”