Last night, my wife Anita took me to an old frame factory in downtown Cincinnati. The factory stopped operating over a hundred years ago, but it looked like the frames hadn’t been touched since the workers packed up and went home.
Anita met a lady about a month ago who was selling some frames from the building and told us that she was going to have an open house on Aug 23rd to try to get rid of some more and invited us to come. Because Anita makes chalk boards out of old frames, she made an appointment with her to view the building before the open house to buy some of her frames, but going back to the open house was still a no-brainer as she wanted me to see the place.
When we arrived, there were people greeting us offering wine and cheese. I didn’t know if I was coming to a rummage sale or a gallery viewing, so I grabbed a glass of wine and headed upstairs. When I got up there, all I saw were tens of thousands of frames stacked everywhere. The floor was probably 5000 square feet and every inch was packed with old frames. It took five minutes just to absorb all of it as I wandered around checking everything out.
The factory stopped operating in 1910 and must have specialized in round and oval frames as there were thousands of them spewed out all over the floor. Every shape and size from tiny to gigantic were available as an oval. They did have some square frames available, but 95% were round of some shape. The owner said the building sat like this undisturbed since 1910.
Not all the frames were primed. They had some really nice ones made from mahogany in all sort of sizes. My wife bought a few of these before and cleaned them up with hemp oil. They look fantastic cleaned so she bought a few more last night . You can see the hundred years of dust that laid on these frames undisturbed.
Sadly, all the old machinery were long gone. I looked around the building for remnants of the machinery, but only came across this glue applicator directions inside one of the posts of the building. It’s from the Casein Manufacturing Company explaining how to properly use one of their mechanical glue pots.
The only big machine left was this nice old blower. There were a few pieces of duct work that went throughout the building, but I’m not sure what it was used for.
Anita ended buying 50 frames for $250. Dirt, dirt cheap as some of the old frames she picked out can go for as high as $35.00 a piece in antique stores. Now she needs to clean all of them up and turn them into chalk boards.