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Mengel Furniture, Mengel Man, Permanized


Posted By Candice Pharo, 7/19/2005

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Does anyone have historical information on Mengel Furniture. I have a dresser and night stand that are marked "Mengel, Mengal Man, Permanized". I have also seen advertisements for Mengel Furniture on E-Bay but can not find any historic information on Mengel Furniture except that it was made by C.C. Mengel from Louisville, KY by the Mengel Box Company/ Mengel Furniture Company. Any information would be appreciated. Thank you.


Replies

From The Swamp Angel, 3/13/2014  2:34 AM

I am still learning a bit about Mengel. I can tell you this much though, the "Mengel Man" logo was designed by my grandfather, Robert Lee Tullis. He was a foreman for Mengel whose mainstay was on the front lines of cutting the timber required to manufacture the furniture. 

He began his career with Mengel in Hickman, Kentucky, a small town on the banks of the Mississippi river. When catastrophe struck in the form of fire (if I recall correctly), the Hickman division was split and half were sent to Michigan and the other half to Mississippi and Louisiana. Fortunately (in my assessment) my grandfather was sent south.

His first assignment was in Basin, Mississippi, near Lucedale. There, Mengel cut cypress and tupelo to turn into quality furniture. It was here that he also took on the pseudonym "Swamp Angel" which he used as he wrote articles for the Hickman Courier, as well as local papers in south Mississippi.  (I have usurped this pseudonym or my own purposes, although I readily admit that I am far inferior to this man whom I never had the opportunity to meet.)

As WWII came to a conclusion in 1945, he was transferred to Baton Rouge, Louisiana to continue harvesting cypress and tupelo in the swamps and bayous of Louisiana. It was here that my father graduated high school from Istrouma High School in 1947, and attended LSU to study petroleum engineering. (How strange it is that a turn of events has created generations of LSU TIgers from a family of Kentuckians since I followed in my father's footsteps and the next generation follows me.)

While my father was enrolled as a student at LSU, my grandfather was sent by Mengel to a small village in Africa known as Dunkwa in the British Gold Coast. (Now known as Ghana.) There, during the course of several trips between 1949 and 1951, he oversaw the harvesting of mahogany in the region and shipped it to the United States. The photos he took and the articles he wrote are no less than amazing in their account of the cultural differences and the respect he held for the indigenous people of the area.

I grew up in eastern Kentucky having been born a little more than eight years after the death of my paternal grandfather. I never had the opportunity to know him personally, but I have been blessed to have been told of his many adventures by my own father, by my Aunt Jane, and through the letters he had written to my grandmother, my father, and my aunt. The adventurous life he lived was a direct result of his employment with the Mengel Furniture Company, and he was grateful for the opportunity it afforded him.

Obviously, he was a "company man" since he found it his great pleasure to doodle away in the evenings and come up with "The Mengel Man" logo that began to adorn Mengel furniture in the 1930s or 1940s.

There are many tales with which I would love to regale lovers and owners of Mengel furniture products, but I am a generation plus eight years removed from the original Swamp Angel and my father has been gone from this earth for twenty years now. However, if I can get back to Laurel, Mississippi to fully "debrief" my Aunt Jane, I will return to tell all that I know of this portion of the Mengel story.

From llaur, 7/18/2013  12:10 AM

Candace, not sure if you are still looking for the Mengel dresser knobs.  If so, we just refinished a permanized mengel dresser and have the original wood knobs with brass in the center.  They are a light blond wood and we have 10 of them.  Let me know if you are still interested.  

From Mslola, 11/14/2012  12:01 AM

I am need of a 4.5 inch Mengel-man drawer pull. The piece has 4 knobs (all in tact) and 6 handles...one handle is missing about 3/4 of its pull. Have pics if someone can tell me where to look! Saved this beauty from a salvage yard in Berkeley CA, this weekend, and would like to give it a new life!  

From RoeLarry, 4/30/2012  8:35 PM

Mengel man mahogany furniture.  Louisville Ky.  My dad worked there in the 1950's. Inspection stamp on rear with a tag.
I have a 2-piece china cabinet, mahogany, w/upper glass doors for sale. There is a wheat engraving on top. I also have a matching small desk w/glass top. Good shape. Pictures available.
Some one was looking for a handle.  I have a few. My mother just passed away. Located in WI.

From Candice Pharo, 7/29/2011  11:33 PM

I have my mom and dad's Mengal dresser with mirror and chest of drawers. The knobs are wood with brass in the middle. I am missing one and would love to find a replacement. I would even be willing to purchase a nightstand if it had the same knobs. Thank you.

From Candice Pharo, 7/26/2011  4:13 PM

Hi i just got a antique permanizea mengel china cabinet. I was just wandering if any one would have any info on it. I can not find anything about it anywhere.

From Candice Pharo, 6/25/2011  10:00 AM

We are buying a 1959 ranch house in Louisville Kentucky. There is metal plaque that identifies the kitchen cabinets as Mengel Kitchens with the Mengel Man logo. We would be interested in hearing if anyone else still has Mengel Kitchen cabinets.

From Tim, 2/16/2011  4:10 PM

Just bought a Mengel Mahogany bedroom set in Pennsylvania. It appears to be in A1 condition. Consists of dresser, chest of drawers, bed and nightstand. $750.00 on Ebay.

From Roy, 1/16/2011  5:47 PM

I have a Mengal Man Permanized 57"(l) x19"(w)x 31"(h) dining room piece that has been painted black and grey.   It has 4 center draws (top drawer has 4 compartments with places to hold silverware) and two side grilled large drawers. The inspection label is on the back and the top left drawer has Mengel Man enrgaved in it. Trying to figure out the approzimate value. Will be selling it shortly.   Any information is great5ly appreciated.

From Nola, 12/28/2010  7:41 PM

I have a Mengel Man Logo Permanized dresser w/ mirror & night stand that is possibly mahogany or cherry...it's dark. I would like to know an approx. value on these pieces. I also have 2 twin beds but not sure if they are Mengel. Any information is greatly appreciated.

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