The Indianapolis Home Show Photo Album - 1922-1948
(Architecture - Photo Album) Cantwell, James Frank. THE INDIANAPOLIS HOME SHOW. Indianapolis, Indiana. J. Frank Cantwell Founder & Managing Director. (Views of period 1922-1948). . . . [Commemorative photo album]. J.F. Cantwell, Realtors; Indianapolis Home Show, ca. 1966. 114 pp (unpaginated). Title page with a color-illustrated architectural logo of J.F. Cantwell Co. tipped-in, quote of P.T. Barnum tipped-in on verso, ink manuscript title, photo frontis. sized 5 x 7 in., 60 silver gelatin 8 x 10 in. photographs, nearly all dated in lower blank margin, many with photographer's imprint within the negative, a few with camera-ready editor's markings at margins, 1 photo with corner chipped, some edge-wear. Educational Press, Inc. scrapbook & album with minor shelf-wear, minor rippling to text block from mounting of photos, overall in vg condition.
A remarkable souvenir commemorative photo album documenting nearly three decades of the Indianapolis Home Show, the largest and longest running exhibition of its kind in the United States. The inaugural show was organized and held in April, 1922 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds by Cantwell in order to introduce a higher level of innovation and home building to local area contractors and home buyers. The first who promoted home ownership in Indianapolis and was sponsored by the Indianapolis Board of Realtors, and featured a five room bungalow house auctioned off to the winner of an essay contest. The essay topic was "Why One Should Own his Own Home in Indianapolis," and the prize small house still stands at 13th & Emerson Ave. in Indianapolis where it was moved following the 1922 home show. The photo album shows the lucky winning couple, as well as the house at its' moved location. This album goes onto document all of the centerpiece homes which were built from the winners of the design competitions held yearly, and by local contractors. The 1923 was an Arts & Crafts brick bungalow; 1924 a stucco home with gingerbread shake roof, 1926 a southern California Spanish-style bungalow; 1929 features a splendid brick home featuring Frank Lloyd Wright style windows, arched columns, and peaked roof. Of additional interest is the fact that the 1932 home was replaced with a garden exhibition due to the Great Depression; 1935 featured a splendid Streamline style small bungalow with large picture window; 1939 features series of photos showing stone facade model home under construction, on display, and then in winter after being moved; 1940 featured three homes including a splendid prototypical example of what would become the Mid-Century Modern style; followed by 1941 which featured a beautiful Ranch style home. The show was suspended from 1942 to 1945 due to wartime shortages, and then returned in 1946 as shown by a series of photos here. The photos in the album show elaborate window displays for the 1947 show, architects and designers meeting, the "Miniature Home Contest" in 1948, and more. Cantwell (1888-1979) was founded his real estate company in Indianapolis before World War I, continued to operate the Indianapolis Home Show until his death, and was a key proponent of popularizing electric refrigerators, garbage disposals, dishwashers, and central air conditioning for Midwestern families. The show still draws over 100,000 visitors annually. The majority of the early photos bear the photographer's imprint of the W.H. Bass Photo Co. which was founded in 1905, and continues to operate today. William H. Bass (1851-1936) began as a teacher, and independent photographer who bought the Bayne Company Studio in 1901 with Walter Woodworth. See: Joanne Curry, Indianapolis Home Show (2008); W.H. Bass Photo Company Collection, Indiana Historical Society, William Henry Smith Memorial Library. Vg cond.