Updating tongue and groove oak panel
14, 2015: Hi everyone, I have done a great deal of research on The Pickwick Papers, and although I do not know the specific reason for the naming of “Pickwick pine panelling”, what I can say is that the name “Pickwick” was for almost a century the most powerful advertising tool in the world, and all kinds of products and businesses were called “Pickwick”.Most commonly, it was applied to food and drink, because there is so much eating and drinking in Dickens’s Pickwick Papers, but many other uses were found for the name.I will attribute it to longtime, continued interest in Early American interior decoration.Building homes, early Americans would have used the materials at hand — and in the early colonies, that would have meant a lot of pine. These trees blanketed Northeast America (more on this subject further down).Thank you, Steven, we will feature your book when it comes out — and I for one plan to read it.Hey, I’m also going to my library today to get a copy of The Pickwick Papers to read. There is no doubt in our mind that pickwick pine paneling was massively popular in American homes after World War II — we will venture to guess it was the #1 most popular pine paneling pattern.Pine — including knotty pine — is a classic, vernacular material that was critically important, it seems, to many generations of American homes for many generations. Vorhees knows this material well — and his company still mills and sells pickwick pine paneling.Moreover, in midcentury America, knotty pine was not only considered practical — it was downright fashionable, said to to Ed Vorhees, who has owned Tidewater Lumber in Greer, S. I asked Vorhees if he knew where the name Pickwick Pine came from, but he did not know.
Above: Yes, the 1960 catalog that we found says Americans have lived with knotty pine for generations…. This photo and the one above courtesy the MBJ Collection on
During the postwar housing boom, the pine industry promoted its use with lots of advertising.
It was very accessible for handy, thrifty do-it-yourselfers.
“Pickwick” refers to the unique edge profile of each piece of this tongue-in-groove pine paneling.
Stare at the profile edge from the side and you can see: Pickwick consists of two beads with a hollow in between on one side of each board… and on the other side of the board, there is a groove.