Born and raised in Pennsylvania, Joe began cabinet work while in grade school. He learned the use of basic tools, and then trained with power tools so that when he entered high school he could do more advanced cabinet-making. The encouragement from his mother made these activities even more enjoyable.
However, in order to prepare for college, Joe had to give up cabinet work in high school after his freshman year. He went on to Randolph Macon College in Ashland, Virginia where he met his wife, Jackie, whom he married in 1939. Jackie's father's hobby was fine cabinet-making, specializing in Queen Anne, Sheraton, Chippendale and Hepplewhite. Joe worked with him gaining extensive knowledge, especially that of finishing hard woods such as mahogany and walnut.
When Jackie decided to make purses shaped like houses, she asked Joe to help. The house purse started both Joe and Jackie in the miniatures business. The couple attended a UFDC Regional Convention in Washington, DC, 1972, and Joe was fascinated by the miniature furniture he saw, especially the replicas of what he had been making in full-scale. He tried his hand at one-inch scale focusing on classic pieces, later concentrating on the Queen Anne pieces, namely the highboy, lowboy, and bachelor chest. After improving those three pieces, they were submitted to the US Bicentennial Society Board of Trustees in 1975, and Joe was awarded the Bicentennial Seal of Approval. This allowed him to use the seal on the three pieces manufactured in the future and the pieces that were placed on sale for the Bicentennial Year in 1976.
Joe and Jackie's business began to grow. At first, Joe had his own furniture designs made in Taiwan and imported them to sell in the United States. He attended doll shows selling his miniature furniture in the early seventies. Participation in many shows resulted in phenomenal growth. He loved to travel and meet new friends. Working so many shows gave him great pleasure.
Reprinted from "A Reference Guide to Miniature Makers Marks" ISBN: 0-9644481-0-6
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