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The Alabastine Company

Identifier: RH-A-3776

Scope and Contents

The collection is composed of a book titled Artistic Home Decoration published by The Alabastine Company, circa 1920. The contents of the book concern the history of wall decoration, Alabastine, and what color combinations are harmonious. There are several colored drawings of what The Alabastine Company considers to be aesthetically pleasing wall decorations. Several pages are written in a Q and A format, with many questions concerning the quality of Kalsomines, wherein the book extolls the virtues of Alabastine and states the inferiority of Kalsomines. The final few pages use testimonials from customers all over the country as a final selling point.


  • Creation: 1920


Biographical / Historical

Alabastine was a wall coating used to provide decoration in many homes during the first few decades of the 20th Century. The material was derived from gypsum, of which there was a large mine located in Wyoming, Michigan, near Grand Rapids. The first shaft was dug by The Alabastine Company in 1907, who continued to mine until 1948, when it went bankrupt due to mismanagement.


1 Volumes

Language of Materials


Physical Description

The collection amounts to .05 cubic feet and is composed of one book published in Grand Rapids circa 1920, titled Artistic Home Decoration, by The Alabastine Company in Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA. The book is approximately 8” x 6” x 1/16” with a yellow cover and black text. The book is 24 pages long, filled with black text on cream paper and colored drawings of room interiors. The front cover has a drawing of a doorway leading into a room with a chair and a window just below the center of the page. The back inside cover notes that the book was prepared, photographed, engraved, and printed by The Dean-Hicks Company in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

The book in in fairly good shape. There are a few small spots, along with some slight discoloration along the spine on the front cover and the first few pages. There are also a few small brown stains on the back cover, along with a small tear along the upper edge.


The Starring Endowment was used to fund this collection.

The Alabastine Company Finding Aid
Andrew Texel
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Western Michigan University Archives & Regional History Collections Repository

Charles C. and Lynn L. Zhang Legacy Collections Center
1650 Oakland Drive
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5307 US
(269) 387-8490