Povey Brothers Studios

There is a fair amount of information about this company on the internet. Almost exclusively, it refers to their stained glass window business. However, recently, a friend directed me to a wonderful photo of their studio that contained not only cartoons and leaded windows, but a number of leaded lamps in various stages of construction. Like many of the popular window makers of the period, Povey Brothers appeared to have adapted well to the demands of a changing and expanding marketplace. Over the company's lifetime, the product line included lighting, bevelled glass, mirrors and sand blasted glass signs. It is likely that many of the unattributed lamps and chandeliers that we see today could have originated from these window companies. This photo and high detail crops from the same image indicates they were actively engaged in the leaded lamp business.

For those interested in obtaining a copy of this photo, it is available from Historic Photo Archive, in Portland, Oregon (503) 460-0415. The original photographer is listed as Clyde MccMonagle (1883-1943), and the original image was an 8x10 glass plate negative scanned to produce a scene of terrific quality. Historic Photo Archive offer many wonderful photos of the period and have kindly given permission to include this image on this website.

The Povey Brothers Factory 1907

© Copyright Historic Photo Archive, Portland, OR, All rights Reserved
From Wikipedia, it seems that the Povey Brothers Studio was active from 1888 to 1928. It was the best known Art Glass Company in Oregon at the time and had customer throughout the West. A lot going on in this wonderful photo. It is not known whether this was the only room that was used for product, perhaps their window business was in another room or floor even, another possibility is that they had this big order of lighting.

Historic Photo Archive tell of a coincidence that enabled a reliable dating of this photo. "An astute observer recognized details of the drawings that are on the easels in the rear and knew of a person who was restoring the house that one of these windows was missing from; we were able to blow up just the little detail of this negative and do a perspective transformation of it and output a new blueprint so they could have a replacement window made from it. It is from the facts about the construction date of this house that I've been able to identify the year the photo was taken as 1907."

© Copyright Historic Photo Archive, Portland, OR, All rights Reserved
Two finished lamps on the back bench, a lady on the phone perhaps to a customer, full sheets of glass resting against the back wall. Interesting to see such a broad number of styles present in these photos. This one even includes a Prairie style window, and cartoon drawings for very traditional Arts & Crafts windows are on the wall at the back. Despite a chance meeting with a descendant of the Povey family, Historic Photo Archive report that none of the individuals in these photos have been identified yet. If you have any details of the workers, there were 25 at the companies peak, please contact me.

© Copyright Historic Photo Archive, Portland, OR, All rights Reserved
A run of table lamp shades and perhaps lanterns.On the lower left are soldering irons at the ready. More cartoon drawings on the side wall.

© Copyright Historic Photo Archive, Portland, OR, All rights Reserved
Cartoons galore. Glass racks are on the bottom left corner.

© Copyright Historic Photo Archive, Portland, OR, All rights Reserved
Completed hanger with chains. Full sheets of glass await the next project. Possibly a dalle hammer on the bench, used to break up slabs of dalle glass into chunks which feature frequently in window designs from this company and others.