Southern Mantel & Tile: The secret’s in the lumber

Today, we pick up in the second part of our series showcasing the Southern Mantel & Tile catalog from 1908. Southern Mantel & Tile was based in Jackson, so presumably and depending on how long they operated, we might run into some of their work around the state.


Lumber and Woods.

One of the most important factors in constructing fine mantels is the lumber. No matter how excellent teh cabinet work, the result is unsatisfactory unless the lumber is right. In this, the twentieth century, with all its wonderful inventions–strange as it may seem–no man has yet succeeded in devising a process for the rapid drying or curing of lumber equal to nature’s method. Lumber treated in nature’s way is superior in every respect. It is not so susceptible to the atmosphere, nor to the heat, and will not warp, swell nor shrink–and more than this, the lumber has a beauty and a life in it that the rapid process of kiln-drying destroys. The woods used in the construction of our mantels are cut from selected trees, after which the lumber is piled on sticks in the open yard, where it remains for twelve months, becoming thoroughly seasoned and air-dried. It is then placed in the kiln, where it remains until all the dampness from the atmosphere is taken out, this insures the lumber to be as near perfect as possible, and very superior to the rapid methods of rushing the lumber from the saw mill green into the kiln, and thereby destroying the life and beauty of the wood.

Our Finish.

The finish given all our mantels, except those described with superior gloss finish, is a four-coated, hand-rubbed and hand-polished piano polish. It will not soak into the wood and lose its lustre with age, as is the case with many makes.


Mantels are always made five feet wide, except on special orders, though the wall plates on the sides can be extended several inches to cover the breast (front) of almost any ordinary. Any variation from regular sizes compels a change in the work and makes an extra charge necessary.

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Categories: Architectural Research

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