Here’s a bit of color to brighten the day of those of us being held in the grip of winter.
This is a silk sample card from the Bruner Woolen Company. As far as I can tell, Bruner was a jobber, or a middleman between the fabric manufacturer and the clothing maker or fabric retailer. There was a Bruner Mill in Pennsylvania, but I don’t think there is a link between it and this company. I also found reference to a Bruner mill in Winooski, Vermont, so it is possible that they made at least some of the goods they sold. There were four branches of the company, in New York, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh and Chicago.
The big woolen jobbers like Bruner and Detmer sold to tailors and factories and stores by the use of sample cards. The salesman would have a big case filled with his samples for the buyer to consider. I have a case from Detmer from the 1920s that is worth a look if you have not seen it. Smaller cards like this one would be left with the buyer or mailed to them.
This sample card is a tri-fold. The first fold had a large sample of black Acorn Peau de Satin, and the information the buyer needed to know. Unfold it again and there were the color samples.
The range of shades offered is quite extensive, with there being thirteen different blues and ten tans. Unfortunately there is no date, and I don’t know enough about color usage of each era to say the exact date of these colors. I do know it is before 1922, when Bruner merged with Detmer and two other companies. My guess is that from the 1910s. Any thoughts?