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Library Bureau Sole Makers Army Green Steel and Brass File Cabinets c.1940



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Two antique army green steel file cabinets with three drawers and rich brown linoleum top.  Each drawer has a divider that slides smoothly. Each handle has a unique release lever that unlocks the drawers. The handles, name plates and locks are brass. The brass manufacturer's plate is located on the front. One cabinet has original labels. These pieces are very solidly built and have retained their original finishes with some minor structural damage.

  • CREATOR Library Bureau Sole Makers Inc.
  • CONDITION Good. Wear consistent with age and use. Minor wear on the body. One missing button lock on the bottom.
  • DIMENSIONS H 42 in. W 18 in. D 28.5 in.


The Library Bureau was a business founded by Melville Dewey in 1876 to provide supplies and equipment to libraries. The Library Bureau quickly became a one-stop vendor for supplies and equipment a library might need. By 1900, its lengthy, well illustrated catalog was widely distributed.

During the late 1800s and early 1900s, the Library Bureau supplied furniture, equipment, supplies, and services to many of the new Carnegie Libraries being built. The Bureau prospered. It opened a number of large factories to provide furniture and supplies. It sold merchandise and services through a network of sales offices and distributors in the United States, England, France, and Belgium.

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