Guest post from the CMA’s Mindy Groff …


While looking for something entirely different, I came across this advertisement in the February 1899 issue of The Carriage Monthly.


I wasn’t familiar with Pantasote, so I was curious to learn more about the product being advertised. Pantasote is an imitation leather that was produced by the Pantasote Company of New York City beginning in 1891. It was a durable, relatively inexpensive material that was widely used for upholstery purposes, and eventually became quite popular for use in automobiles. It was available in a variety of colors, and could be finished in regular leather grain or with a high-relief embossed effect.

The American Carpet and Upholstery Journal advertised a price of $1.10 per yard in October 1904. You could buy an imitation version for less than half the price, but Pantasote warned potential customers that the copycat versions simply couldn’t compete with the original.

According to this advertisement featured in The Carriage Monthly, as well as other examples I found on various internet archives, Pantasote boasts the following advantages: “Water-proof, grease-proof, stain-proof and germ-proof. Does not rot, peel or crack. Is not affected by heat or cold, and is not inflammable.” That’s quite a claim!