Vintage Wallpaper


Groult, Andre (Manufacturer), c. 1925


In the midst of a round of broken-wrist induced procrastination, I stumbled across a treasure trove of vintage wallpaper.

It comes from Historic New England.

What I’ve learned:

  1. Most of the c. 1930-1960 era wallpaper is what you’d expect, especially if you’ve renovated a house that lived during the era: neutral backgrounds, pale color palettes, designs pulled from nature (flowers, leaves, trees) or classical architecture (columns, gardens, finials).


    Imperial Wallcoverings (Manufacturer), c. 1945. Sprays of grass in cadmium red, grey and silver liquid mica loosely arranged on a beige ground.

  2. Roosters drop in on a semi-regular basis.


    United Wallpapers, Inc. (Manufacturer) c. 1950.

  3. Geometrics often are described as a “diaper pattern” or “diapered,” which apparently refers to a triangle shape.”Diaper pattern” is a search term you can use in the archive.

    Diapered pattern of tiny, stylized flowers c. 1960


    Thomas Strahan, Inc. (Manufacturer), c. 1955. Scenic paper depicting a man in a military uniform alternating with a hat with plume surrounded by a wreath on diapered background.

And then there’s this sample of solid green wallpaper. Solid. Green. Wallpaper. It dates to the early 20th century. But it makes me wonder: wouldn’t paint have been easier?


Plain green paper. Date: 1880-1950. Maker: unknown


File this under Archive Love.


Date: 1950-1960, Maker: unknown. Love the creative use of the archivist’s foot to help hold open the roll of wallpaper in the photo.




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