Theses (Historic Preservation)

Document Type

Thesis or dissertation

Date of this Version



Suggested Citation:

Wiles, Kelly E. (2013). Looking for Mr. White: Uncovering the Furniture, Business and Life of Philadelphia Cabinetmaker Charles Haight White. (Masters Thesis). University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.


In-depth analysis of the furniture and business of 19th century cabinetmaker Charles Haight White (1796-1876). Biography chapter chronicles his social associations in Philadelphia, including his involvement in the Franklin Institute. This thesis also includes an analysis of White's portfolio, which is primarily comprised of works in the Empire, Rococo Revival and Gothic Revival styles. White, a large exporter to the South, had a clientele base of primarily wealthy Americans. Two chapters discuss White's patrons in the North and South and consumption in both geographic areas. This thesis concludes with an analysis of how White's furniture is interpreted today and also a thorough interpretation of his furniture suite at Springfield Plantation in Fort Mill, SC.


philadelphia furniture industry, cabinetmaking, 19th century, trade, decorative arts



Date Posted: 25 February 2014