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Collection Guide
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Finding aid to the Western Furniture Exchange and Merchandise Mart Records 1915-2008 SFH 475
SFH 475  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
The Western Furniture Exchange and Merchandise Mart operated from its founding in 1915 until it closed in 2008. The Mart served as the largest hub for furniture wholesale on the West Coast and hosted sellers from all over the Western United States.
Background
The Western Furniture Exchange and Merchandise Mart, or the San Francisco Furniture Mart as it was commonly called, operated from its founding in 1915 until its closing in 2008 when the bulk of western wholesale furniture markets concentrated in Las Vegas. At its apex the Mart operated as the largest hub for wholesale furniture on the West Coast and hosted sellers from all over the Western United States. It eventually grew to support seven markets under one roof with showrooms ranging from 400 to 1500 square feet. It sold items as varied as furniture, floor coverings, radio and television appliances, giftware, lamps, housewares, decorative textiles, linens, toys and juvenile goods. Semiannual and Friday marts operated on a membership basis with two market weeks a year, one in January and the second in July.
Extent
29 cartons, 27 bully boxes, 4 pamphlet boxes, 1 flat file. (39.5 Cubic Feet)
Restrictions
All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the City Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the San Francisco Public Library as the owner of the physical items. All requests for permission to publish from photographs must be submitted in writing to the Photo Curator. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the San Francisco Public Library as the owner of the physical items.
Availability
The collection is available for use during San Francisco History Center hours, with photographs available during Photo Desk hours. Collections that are stored offsite should be requested 48 hours in advance.