R. M. Williamson:
An Inventory of his Dallas, Texas, Plan Books and Advertisements, 1919-1930
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.
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.
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R. M. Williamson, Dallas, Texas, Plan Books and Advertisements 1919-1930, the Alexander Architectural Archives, the General Libraries, the University of Texas at Austin
November 17, 1993; Beth Dodd, 2000.
Other Finding Aids
Unpublished inventory in Archive.
Detailed Description of the Collection
The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.