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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.


From Trailrunner, 10/7/2017  12:37 PM

I Have just purchased a Mengelbord writing desk and not by the designer Loewy.  It is solid wood, oak I believe and no veneers. It has dove tail joinery and brass locks on two of the drawers which work with keys. The stamp on the bottom of each drawer and on the bottom of the bottom of the top is in white with the word "Mengelbord " and the "M" man logo. There are no screws, braces or any other metal. Looks a bit primitive but very well made. It seems to have had an original light stain, then someone put a type of paint stain over that and finally someone put a darker stain over the body but not the draws. Does anyone have a clue as to what "period" this belongs to? It is definitely not modern. 


From Geneva, 10/10/2016  1:30 PM

Yes please! Oh hooray!
Would not need all 10 - will email you at the gmail below once I get to storage to doublecheck the number. 
Did my previous email to the lori gmail address get through? We can move our  discussion there.

From llaur, 10/10/2016  9:19 AM

Hi, I still have Mengel drawer pulls (round, blond, brass center) if you are interested in them.

From Geneva, 10/9/2016  11:02 PM

Also looking for Mengel drawer pulls (round, blond, brass centre) and refinish advice. 

From Lisas, 2/11/2016  10:44 AM

I have Mengel kitchen cabinets with the metal plate, probably original handles . My house was built in 1959, and in the future I want to remodel my kitchen with new cabinets and was seeing if anyone would need retro cabinets or I may just paint them and use them elsewhere. My email is: lisas7769@yahoo.com

From Suzanner, 8/11/2015  11:01 AM

I am new to this board and do not know very much about furniture but I have been reading the posts here. I have a beautiful mengel china cabinet that I picked up free, curbside. I got into painting cheaper pieces with chalk paint but, as mentioned, never have refinished. The piece has some minor damage, places where it has chipped and scratched and swing handles that are missing. I started researching the mengel name (this piece says permanized) to see if it had value and it brought me here. So my question is, how do I know what the wood is? And approximate value? Is it worth it to refinish or would it be okay to paint. I know, sounds like blasphemy...thank you for your feedback!

From llaur, 7/30/2014  8:05 PM

pibblepal, I do still have the knobs and can send picture to see if they are what you are looking for, email lori.lauritzen@gmail.com

From pibblepal, 7/29/2014  3:57 PM

llaur - Do you still have these knobs available? Please let me know! Thank you!


From pibblepal, 7/29/2014  3:57 PM

llaur - Do you still have these knobs available? Please let me know! Thank you!

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.  

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