L. O. Moser Furnitre Co. Museum (1915-2005)
Authentic "Living Museum" and Shop
Welcome to our wood shop! A few years ago the L. O. Moser Furniture Company of Lynchburg, Virginia was relocated, preserved, and reopened as a “living museum” in Buena Vista, Colorado, by founder and acting curator, Ron Southard.
View the Slide Show below to Check out some of our Shop Equipment.
16” Table Saw & Mortiser
Greenlee Bros & Co.
16” Table Saw & Mortiser:
Rockford, IL USA
Model # 493 New in 1946
Shop No. 36517
In 1927 they spun off the Greenlee Tool Company to handle their small tools, mainly for metalworking. Greenlee was acquired by German giant Textron in 1986, but the woodworking machinery division was not part of the deal. Some parts are available from EX-CELL-O, which bought the rights to the Greenlee woodworking machinery.
The Charles E. Wright Co. Drillpress
Kenilsworth, NJ USA
# 960 and #1000
Charles Erskine Wright started making woodworking machinery in about 1895. He incorporated in 1903. In 1907 the community of New Orange changed its name to Kenilworth. The company discontinued operations somewhere between 1919 and 1931.
antiques, gifts, gallery, furnishings, preservation, vintage, museum, woodworking, design, reproductions, furniture, décor, artist, graphic, watercolor, pencil, cnc, woodcarving, wood, repurposed, restored, upcycled
This vintage flat-belt line-shaft driven furniture shop was founded in 1915 by Luther O. Moser, Sr., who specialized in the faithful (now “collectible”) reproductions of 17th, 18th and 19th century Victorian furniture as it was originally created and crafted by master cabinet-makers and furniture designers such as Thomas Chippendale, George Hepplewhite, Thomas Sheraton, Duncan Phyfe, and others.
Our mission has been to create a fully operational replica of Moser’s original shop duplicating as closely as possible every aspect of the shop complete with business record archives, artifacts and furniture production tools and memorabilia.
The purpose was not just conservation as a museum and creation of a tourists attraction, but to create a “classroom” as well; to provide a teaching/training venue where people of all ages could come to experience and become impassioned by the early American craft of woodworking and furniture making.
The senior Moser’s sons, Charles and Luther (L.O.) Moser, Jr, took over the business in the late 40’s after returning from WWII (from the Philippines and the beaches of Normandy respectively) and operated it together until the late 1950s when, due to a growing shortage of willing and capable hand-craftsmen, the focus of the business was redirected from furniture to boat building.
Charles Moser did, however, continue to make furniture reproductions in the Moser shop until 2005 when the need for orthopedic surgery caused him to consider retirement at age 87. Luther Moser, Jr. remained the master finisher and often applied the finishes until his retirement in the mid 80’s. Luther, L. O. Moser, Jr., has a summer home in Buena Vista where he frequently spends from May to October in the Upper Arkansas Valley of Colorado. His homes, both here and in Virginia, are themselves veritable museums of Moser originals.
Part of the legacy of the Moser Furniture Company is an extraordinarily effective restorative furniture cleaner and polish which was formulated by the senior L. O. Moser sometime in the late ‘teens or early 1920s. He created it to assure proper care of his handcrafted, hardwood furniture. The polish was developed to clean, polish and protect all furniture and wood surfaces, old or new, light or dark. To find out more about Early Virginian™, and to purchase the polish [or to become a dealer or distributor of the polish] click here.
We (Moser Legacy) have nearly completed the process of restoring and reactivating the shop as a living museum and classroom in our building at 27951 County Road 319 in Buena Vista, Colorado; directly across the street from the Central Colorado Regional Airport terminal . The museum was opened to the public in June of 2012.
In parallel with this effort we have created a woodworking and furniture making museum featuring static displays of not only the memorabilia of the Moser Furniture Company but a collection of hand tools, reference books, samples of Moser furniture, and similar period pieces, including completed and partially completed pieces of furniture and upholstery examples dating back to the late 1920s. We also have the accounting records, sales ledgers, purchasing journals, etc., from 1917 when they started to keep records, through the life of the business.
Another part of the legacy, perhaps the most interesting, is that in addition to the vintage woodworking equipment and tools, we have copies of the original catalogs showing each piece of furniture by number; and for each piece, indexed pattern sets for most of the furniture pieces built by the company during the 90 years from 1915 through 2005. For more information about obtaining duplicates of these original L. O. Moser pattern sets, click here.
To check on regular museum hours and tour prices, or to arrange a special appointment to obtain a private showing and live demonstration of the working shop, click here.