Roberts' Illustrated Millwork Catalog
A Sourcebook of Turn-of-the-Century Architectural Woodwork.
Images on this page are from a E. L. Roberts & CO. catalog that was issued in 1903. This catalog is currently reprinted by Dover Books and is available at

This is a great source for inlay and marquetry projects. You can adapt the designs from parquetry flooring, stained and leaded windows, wood carvings and all types of ornamental wood work. Another large source for art work is plaster castings and molds, but these are not in this book. I happen to know a stone flooring company that adapts uses these old designs for their marble and granite work. You can scan these old books and catalogs, bring them into a program like Corel Draw, Freehand, or Illustrator, and convert them to vector art. One other great thing with these old books is that they are public domain, there is no copyright restrictions on books published before 1923.

I scanned the pages up at 300 DPI, so it if you click on the pages you will get a very large image, they look good, but are huge. It's good for redrawing.


Birds eye view of our immense plant,

the largest in Chicago.

For 1903 this place was huge, they had railroad spurs running on both sides of there building.

 These grilles were sort of room separators in fancy ginger bready houses. 


You start looking at some of this stuff in the catalog and you would thinks it's an art book.

I take it that this was not meant for a Cyber Cafe, I would like to make this one up flat, out of all wood veneer.
The catalog has like 34 pages of these indoor grilles. The outdoor gingerbread woodwork is not as fancy, but interesting none the less. I would copy the whole catalog online if I had a document feeder, but that will come in time.

This is some of their etched / cut glass. You can take designs for inlay from just about anywhere. Fabric patterns, old magazines, even wall paper. Of course, you could just draw them, I personally am more involved in the technology behind making the inlays and mosaics. I have not done that much drawing yet, I did do some flowers strait from real life!, those were pretty easy to do.

Now this is a piece of leaded glass. Nice pattern. If it was on the floor, and made out of wood, it would be parquetry. Make the design out fabric, and throw it on your bed, and it would be a quilt block. What's funny is that you can't really tell what it is, by looking at the drawing.

As I said, I am hoping to get more of this catalog up online. You can buy it from