Clean and Beautiful: Sanitary Wallpapers

The Oritani frieze is one of a number of wallpapers in the Cooper-Hewitt collection that contain a printed inscription in the selvedge that reads: "Antiseptic Pat'd 8-9-04". This was a patent filed by the William Campbell Wall Paper Company in 1904 that was said to prevent the absorption of germs into the wallpaper’s pigment. This patent notification appeared mostly on children’s wallpapers but the process was also used on papers for more general use.
wallpaper, border, frieze, sanitary, washable, Egli, Campbell, Oritani

Robinson Crusoe

I find it interesting that the novel Robinson Crusoe, written by Daniel Defoe in 1719, while not originally intended for a child audience, became the subject of one of the earliest children’s wallpapers. Early children’s wallpapers were designed to be educational and not to amuse. While this book was a novel about travel and adventure and would certainly have appealed to the imaginations of children, it also delivers a strong message of faith. This is the aspect of the novel that would have appealed to manufacturers and parents.
wallpaper, Children, Crusoe, washable, intaglio