The Albright’s American Artists Charcoal Company

Warrenville was home to artist Adam Emory Albright from 1924 until his death in 1957. Our community offered Albright a rural setting, in which he found his inspiration for the country scenes he painted. His twin sons, Ivan and Malvin, who also called Warrenville home for many years, followed in their father’s footsteps taking up art. The three Albright artists used the former Methodist Church, located on Second Street, as an art gallery and studio, known as “The Albright Gallery of Painting and Sculpture.” The Warrenville Historical Society now uses this building as the City’s Museum.

During their time in Warrenville, the Albrights had many side businesses in order to supplement their income to support their art. One such business was the American Artists Charcoal Company. Adam was known as a businessman as well as an artist, and traveled to an island in the Mississippi River near Grafton where there was a charcoal manufacturer. During his trip he learned the trade, and when he returned home, he enlisted his sons in helping him found the company in 1928. They arranged shipments of the special lumber necessary for production and made charcoal right behind the Albright Studio. Their initial sales campaign consisted of longhand written letters to schools and other prospects.

Below are images of items from the Warrenville Historical Society’s collection detailing the charcoal business.

Albright Artists' Charcoal copy

Box cover that charcoal was sold in.

handwritten charcoal costs 1931 1932 enhanced copy

Handwritten note detailing the company expenses for 1931 and 1932.

request for Albright charcoal for print copy

Charcoal order from Philadelphia.

american artists charcoal order from board of education copy

Envelope of an order placed by the City of Chicago’s Board of Education.

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Published in: on December 13, 2013 at 9:13 am  Leave a Comment  

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