Furniture factory, Arthurdale, West Virginia, Ben Shahn, 1937, Library of Congress, FSA-OWI Collection.
The Arthurdale Unit of the Mountaineer Craftsman Cooperative began in 1935, as a collective of manufacturing concerns which exemplified the trade skills of the homesteaders of Arthurdale. They manufactured furniture, pewter, anealed copper, and woven goods. The cooperative in Arthurdale was an outgrowth of the efforts of the American Friends Service Committee.
The most successful of the craft ventures was the furniture. In addition to making the simple furniture which was provided for and purchased by the homesteaders, the furniture factory produced 3 minor lines and 4 major lines of furniture, from the more simple to the more ornate, the 500, 700, 800, and 900 series. This furniture was sold to furniture stores or directly to the public. Many pieces are still in use today around the United States and there are several pieces in Eleanor Roosevelt’s Val-Kill Cottage.
Authentic Arthurdale made Mountaineer Craftsman Furniture is identified by this logo which appears on the back or underside of the furniture pieces.
In July 2007, collector Jeanne Rymer donated almost twenty pieces of Arthurdale furniture to the New Deal Homestead Museum in honor of her mother, Nellie Blythe Stockdale, who purchased the pieces during the 1930s. Viewing the Stockdale Collection is one of the major highlight of visiting the museum.