American Oak ... History and Handles

June 29, 2023

American Oak ... History and Handles

The use of solid American oak in furniture and door handles has a rich and enduring history, characterized by its strength, beauty, and versatility. American oak, primarily sourced from two prominent species—Quercus alba (white oak) and Quercus rubra (red oak)—has been a favoured material for craftsmen and artisans throughout the centuries.

Manico Me chose solid American (white) Oak as our standard entry door pull handle timber both because of it's beauty but also due it its strength and endurance.  Quality American Oak is used as part of our BEAM, CALOTTA, GALA (with walnut stain - New handle with brass details) and our new offset oak handle BEAMATO.

The origins of American oak furniture can be traced back to the early colonial era in North America. European settlers, predominantly from England, recognised the abundant availability of oak trees in the New World and harnessed its qualities to create functional and sturdy pieces of furniture. These early craftsmen capitalised on the oak's durability, resistance to decay, and attractive grain patterns to fashion chests, tables, chairs, and cabinetry.

As the colonies prospered and craftsmanship flourished, American oak furniture evolved in style and sophistication. In the 18th century, especially in the USA, oak was a popular choice, often adorned with intricate carvings and decorative elements. The durability of oak made it well-suited for the demands of daily use, ensuring longevity and practicality.

During the 19th century, the emergence of the Arts and Crafts movement further propelled the popularity of American oak in furniture making. Craftsmen sought to emphasise the inherent beauty of the wood, employing simple designs and showcasing its natural grain and texture. Influential figures such as Gustav Stickley championed the use of solid oak, promoting its integrity and celebrating the virtues of handcrafted furniture.

In addition to furniture, American oak found its way into the creation of door handles, adding both functionality and aesthetic appeal to architectural designs. Oak handles provided a strong grip, allowing for smooth operation and durability. The natural warmth and character of the wood lent a touch of elegance to doors, be it in residential homes, commercial buildings, or public spaces.

The popularity of American oak in furniture and door handles continued into the 20th century, with various design movements embracing its timeless charm. Mid-century modern designers, for example, often incorporated oak into their creations, blending it with other materials such as glass and metal to achieve a harmonious balance of form and function.

Today, solid American oak remains a popular choice in furniture and door handle manufacturing, appreciated for its enduring beauty, strength, and versatility. Its presence can be found in a wide range of styles, from traditional to contemporary, reflecting both its historical significance and its ability to adapt to evolving design sensibilities.

The use of solid American oak in furniture and door handles embodies a tradition of craftsmanship, showcasing the skill of artisans and the enduring appeal of this remarkable wood. Its legacy continues to be cherished, as it graces homes, offices, and public spaces with its distinctive charm and exceptional quality.

Manico Me Membership Sign Up