I’m spending the long holiday weekend here in the States both working on our house and hoping it won’t burn down during LA’s long illegal fireworks show that began a month ago and reaches its zenith, though not its conclusion, on the 4th. In the evenings I’ve taken to reading bungalow related literature on my iPad and hoping the animals don’t freak out from the explosions.
The interwebs have opened a whole world of old, out of print publications from the pre-Idocracy era. Two bungalow related magazines you can read for free are Gustav Stickley’s highbrow Craftsman and bungalow entrepreneur Jud Yoho’s more humble Bungalow Magazine.
Stickley published The Craftsman between 1901 and 1917. The University of Wisconsin-Madison has all issues online in their Digital Library for the Decorative Arts and Material Culture. Craftsman articles are eclectic, ranging from art history lessons to progressive era moralizing, to practical furniture construction plans.
Bungalow Magazine was published between the years 1912 and 1918, first in Los Angeles and then in Seattle. The Seattle Public Library has digitized almost the whole run minus a few issues. Bungalow Magazine’s ulterior motive was to sell house plans. Its tone is more pragmatic and less Apollonian than The Craftsman.
What both publications have in common is an expectation that the reader is not just a consumer but potentially someone capable of taking up a chisel or sewing needle and making something. This DIY ethos was, of course, part of the anti-industrial agenda of the Arts and Crafts movement. One can hope that this spirit will catch on again in our disposable age.