Portable Wainscoting, 1869

Portable Wainscoting

The image shows the product in use on the wall, stairs and floor.
A new product in 1869, strips of wood were glued to a length of flannel cloth. The wainscoting was generally 1/8 inch thick, while that used for flooring was generally 2/3 to ¾ inch thick.
It could be rolled, unrolled and kept on stock for sale like carpets. The wood strips were generally narrower than tongue and groove, and combinations of several hardwoods could be used to a pleasing effect. It was noted that it always required a baseboard.
Used as a floor covering, it could be laid in various ways.
It was described as easy to put up, “being fastened to the wall from the top with a rabbeted moulding or a fixture underneath, and firmly secured by screws or nails through the moulding or nosing to the studding. A rabbeted base secures the wainscoting at the bottom.”
It cost about half the price of tongued and grooved hardwood, and slightly more than oil-cloth, and since it was portable, it could be taken up when the owner moved. It could also be used as a countertop material.
To clean it, it was advised to use a damp cloth once or twice a week.

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