Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Uncovering History...In My Sock Drawer

No one gives thought to their sock drawer, at least not much anyway. I don't mean the actual socks in the drawer - a well-stocked supply avoids the need for the dreaded smell test - but the actual drawer itself. Until recently, I considered myself among the blissfully ignorant.

It all started when I posted pictures of our recent bedroom renovation project. A photo captured the corner of our room where I keep my dresser. One of my wife's relatives commented, "love that piece." I began thinking: this is really a nice dresser.

This piece of furniture has a long history. At some point in the 1950's it had a happy home in a guest room of a Boston hotel. The name of the hotel is still up for grabs in family folklore. But in the early '60's the hotel closed (or remodeled), and it made its way from Boston in the trunk of my great uncle's car. It made it to White Street in Quincy, where my mother used it as her dresser until she married my father.

In the mid 1980's my grandparents and parents bought a two family together. For the next fifteen years this dresser accumulated dust in the basement and was used to store Christmas ornaments. I noticed it in college, and brought it out of the basement to use in my room. I've used it ever since.

After hearing the history, I decided it was worth taking a second look at the details. I must admit, I have seen one too many episodes of Antiques Roadshow. They are always finding the imprint of Paul Revere on the backside of a bedpan or an artist's signature on the back of a blue ceramic hippo. So, I decided to see if I could find some clues.

And, much to my surprise, I found an imprint- In My Sock Drawer!

The imprint said it was made by Paul McCobb as part of his Planner Group. Apparently, McCobb is a famous furniture designer (Wikipedia).

McCobb's designs were counted as some of the most popular in contemporary furniture during the 1950's.

Who knew this much history could be uncovered from a sock drawer!


  1. It wasn't in the basement the whole time. I had it until I got Nana B's dresser!!

  2. Now aren't you glad your Mom-in-law said it was great! haha. have you ck'd out what it's worth now - you may be sitting on a gold mine - or rather a sock mine ...

  3. You are both wrong. It was won at the St Marys Christmas bazaar for $15.

    ps..was the great uncle Uncle Buddy?