University of Texas, Alexander Architectural Archive

R. M. Williamson:

An Inventory of his Dallas, Texas, Plan Books and Advertisements, 1919-1930



Collection Summary

Creator: Williamson, Robert M. "Bob," 1869-1950
Title: R.M. Williamson, Dallas, Texas Plan Books and Advertisements,
Dates: 1919-1930
Abstract: R.M. Williamson was a wholesale lumber dealer in Dallas, Texas who produced and sold packets of documents containing a plan book of house plans with an accompanying photograph a set of blueprints for each house in the plan book, and a list of general specifications for building the houses. The collection consists of 14 copies of house plan books dating from 1919 to 1923, and tear sheets of advertisements for the plan books series.
Identification: WMSON Accession number(s): 1991015, 1993001
Quantity: 14 plan books and .5 linear feet of advertisements
Language: Materials are in English.
Repository: Alexander Architectural Archive, The University of Texas at Austin.

Biographical sketch of Robert M. "Bob" Williamson (1869-1950)

R.M. Williamson was a wholesale lumber dealer in Dallas, Texas. He was also an owner of property in East Texas for timber and several sawmills. Williamson produced and sold packets of documents containing a plan book of house plans with an accompanying photograph of the front façade of the house for illustration, a set of blueprints for each house in the plan book, and a list of general specifications for building the houses. He focused primarily on designs for small to medium sized homes. The packets were sold to retail lumber dealers, who would in turn sell both the design and materials to build the house to their customers. The lumber dealers would emboss their own company's name on the plan books or Williamson would entitle them as "Modern Homes". The plan books were produced primarily from 1918 until 1938 when Williamson retired. The designs are claimed to be produced by architects, especially those of C.D. Hill and Company and their chief draftsman Clifford Evans.

Williams was also active in several building materials organizations, such as for lumber and brick. He would use his associations with the organizations to also advertise in their trade journals.


Scope and Content of the collection

The R.M. Williamson collection consists of 14 copies of house plan books dating from 1919 to 1923, and tear sheets of advertisements for the plan books series. Each book contains a floor plan and photograph of a front façade of a home to illustrate the plan. The photographic print is mounted on fabric. Each plan is numbered and each plan book also was assigned a number by Williamson. The plan numbers are in no particular order within the plan books.

The tear sheets are from the publication The Gulf Coast Lumberman in which Williamson's Plan Books were advertised. Advertisements listed below included endorsements from the following: Planters Lumber co., North Little Rock, AR; Blytheville Lumber Co., Blytheville, AR; Central Lumber Co., Shreveport, LA; Howell Lumber Co., Bryan, TX; Harris-Lipsitz Lumber Co., Dallas, TX; Eagle Pass Lumber Co. at Laredo, TX; Southern Pine Association, New Orleans, LA; Arkansas Association of Retail Lumber Dealers, Little Rock, AR; William Cameron and Co., Inc., Waco, TX; and Alpine Lumber Co., Alpine, TX.


Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

Access is by appointment only to any serious scholar. Rolled materials must be flattened before viewing. A three day advance notice is required to flatten rolled materials. Portions of this collection are not processed and may not be accessible.

Restrictions on Use

Permission for publication is given on behalf of the University of Texas as the owner of the collection and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder which must be obtained by the researcher. For more information please see the Alexander Architectural Archive's Use Policy.


Index Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the University of Texas Online Catalog. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons, or places should search the catalog using these headings.
Subjects (Persons):
Williamson, Robert M. "Bob," 1869-1950
Subjects:
Architecture, Domestic--Designs and plans--Texas--Dallas
Gulf Coast lumberman and building material distributor
Lumber--Commerce--Texas--Dallas
Lumber industry and trade--Texas--Dallas

Related Material

R.M. Williamson papers, Texas/Dallas History and Archives Division of the Dallas Public Library. The collection includes a selection of original photographic plan books, blueprints, tracings, loose photographs, advertising materials, lumber journals, and some business correspondence.


Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

R. M. Williamson, Dallas, Texas, Plan Books and Advertisements 1919-1930, the Alexander Architectural Archive, the General Libraries, the University of Texas at Austin

Processing Information

November 17, 1993; Beth Dodd, 2000.


Other Finding Aids

Unpublished inventory in Archive.


References to works by or about R.M. Williamson

Roark, Carol, "Make lots of little plans: the R.M. Williamson House Plan Books," Legacies (Fall 1997): 24-29.


Detailed Description of the Collection

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.

 

Series A: Modern Home Plan Books

Series Abstract
The plan books series contains several numbered copies of plan books containing a house plan and accompanying photograph of a house built with the plan as an illustration. Plan books were used by lumber companies and builders to sell plans and materials to customers building their own homes. "Modern Home" would be embossed on the plan book if the builder chose not to put their own name on the plan books.
box
1 Album #1 (c.1919)
2 cops.
Album #4 also contains designs for garages and chicken houses (c.1919)
Album #7 (c.1920)
2 cops.
box
2 Album #11 (c.1921)
2 cops.
Album #17 (c. 1922)
2 cops.
Album #18 (c. 1922)
box
3 Album #20 (c. 1922)
Album #21 (c. 1923)
Album #22 (c. 1923)
Album - unknown # (no date)



 

Series B: Advertisements

Series Abstract
The Advertisements series contains tear sheets from publications in which Williamson's Plan Books were advertised. Advertisements listed below included endorsements from the following: Planters Lumber co., North Little Rock, AR; Blytheville Lumber Co., Blytheville, AR; Central Lumber Co., Shreveport, LA; Howell Lumber Co., Bryan, TX; Harris-Lipsitz Lumber Co., Dallas, TX; Eagle Pass Lumber Co. at Laredo, TX; Southern Pine Association, New Orleans, LA; Arkansas Association of Retail Lumber Dealers, Little Rock, AR; William Cameron and Co., Inc., Waco, TX; and Alpine Lumber Co., Alpine, TX. Photocopies of each advertisement are also found in the back of the paper finding aid for this collection.
box
4 Reprint from Gulf Coast Lumberman, June 1, 1919
advertisement for Album No.s 1-4
Reprint from Gulf Coast Lumberman, p. 35-38. November 1, 1919,
advertisement for Album No.s 1, 4, and No.s 5-6
Reprint from Gulf Coast Lumberman, p. 26-27. April 1, 1920,
advertisement for Album No.s 1, 4-7.
Reprint from Gulf Coast Lumberman, April 1, 1921
advertisement for Album No.s 1-12
Reprint from Gulf Coast Lumberman, p. 29. June 1, 1922,
advertisement for Album No.s 19-20
Reprint from Gulf Coast Lumberman, (c. 1923)
advertisement for Album No.s 22-24
Reprint from Gulf Coast Lumberman, p. 15. July 1, 1924,
advertisement for Album No. 30
Reprint from Gulf Coast Lumberman, p. 33. April 1, 1930,
advertisement for Album No.s 44, 46-50