Thursday, May 23, 2013

Dawson Brothers 1906 Fireplace Insert

I recently had to do some restoration work on the firebox of my beautiful 1906 fireplace insert.  When I pulled it away from the fireplace, I found a stamp in the back that it had been made by "Dawson Bros - Chicago, Ill".  I did a wee bit of research and found a picture of the the Dawson Bros building in Chicago which I posted on Pinterest so I'd know right where to find it.

I didn't think anyone but me would be much interested in the Dawson Bros building, but Beth found it.  The Dawson Brothers were her Great Grandfather's brothers.

So Beth, this post is for you ... these photos are a right-click away for your collection of your Great Uncle's work.

The insert in all it's glorious detail.

It is a coal burning fireplace ... the firebox is very small
and with the solid front, designed to burn coal long and slow.

It was made in an era of fine detail.
No surface is left unadorned.

Detail of the 'door' which lifts off to reveal the firebox.
The pastoral scene is done in heavy relief

So sweet ... she is wearing
sabots on her feet.

The makers stamp is in a place that it cannot be seen unless the
insert is removed from the fireplace ... a modesty lost with
today's marketing practices.

And a separate plaque for the grate
Vulcan Series Grate No. 422

The complete fireplace a la 1906.

It's a wonder that after 107 years it is still all
in place as it was in 1906.


  1. Very, very interesting! Beautiful work that has stood the test of time.

    1. I love my little old crooked antique house. And I think everyone else who lived here before me did too because everyone has kept it original. I do think of myself more as the caretaker than the home owner!

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  3. This is a beautiful fireplace insert! I recently came across this exact insert and am looking to do some restoration on it. If there's anyway you could answer a few questions for me that would be awesome! What material is it made out of? What could be used to restore this beauty? Also, do you know the value of it? Any information would be great! This is the only post I could find of the insert. Thanx!!

  4. I don't see a reply... Is there anyway you could e-mail me??

    1. It's cast iron. I sandblasted mine and painted it with high heat flat black paint.

  5. I have the same one in my new home I would love the answers to Michael's questions as well.

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