Thursday, March 17, 2016

A Brief History of Miracle Doors

By Gretchen Sawatzki

With advances in milling and door production technology around the year 1910, the Paine Lumber Company of Oshkosh, Wisconsin devised an innovative door, known as the Miracle Door. Patented in 1923, the Miracle Door utilized "Korelock" technology to float a single flat panel in the center of the door surrounded by a perimeter of stepped moldings.

Image source: Hull, Brent. Historic Millwork: A Guide to Restoring
and Recreating Doors,Windows, and Moldings of the Late Nineteenth through
Mid-twentieth Centuries. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 2003.

The Miracle Door featured veneers and multiple species of wood, making it both strong and somewhat customizable. A single door could consist of a birch, poplar, or pine interior structure with a walnut, birch, or mahogany veneer. The variety of these doors was a huge departure from the traditional five and six-panel doors of the era. Their popularity made these doors a favorite of builders through WWII, and can still be found in middle and upper middle class homes built between 1910 and 1945.

Historic Advertisement: Paine Lumber Company, Ltd., Home Builders Catalog, circa 1923.

Today, "Miracle Door" facsimiles are widely available on the market and are experiencing a resurgence in popularity. Companies like Jeld-Wen offer an array of doors inspired by the traditional Miracle Door, but nothing beats the original. At Materials Unlimited, we offer a wide selection of antique Miracle Doors. From pine to birch, varnished or customized, our builders can even create custom Miracle Doors to our customer's specifications.

Painted antique Miracle Door. Image by
Hannah Manning via Materials Unlimited

To learn more about our custom door creations and inventory of Miracle Doors visit our website.

             Jeld-Wen Windows and Doors
             Old House Journal
             Oshkosh Public Museum
             Prezi: Paine Lumber Company


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