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Formica wall tiles — rare vintage Sequin and Nassau 10 inch wall tiles

vintage formica wall tilesStarting the week off with a major historical discovery that I have never seen nor heard of before: Formica wall tiles. And not only that, they are New Old Stock in their original boxes, with instructions, saved in the nick of time from going into the garbage at the ReStore, two favorite patterns — Camellia Sequin (gold glitter on a pink background) and Nassau. Howdy hudee to Mike, who saved these rare and wonderful 1959 Formica wall tiles and is generously immortalizing them with us in our website “museum.” 

Formica wall tiles in their original boxes
 vintage formica wall tiles

Mike writes:

Hi Pam — Your site is definitely one of the best out there and I often refer to it when researching things. As you are such a great reference for vintage laminates I thought I would share a find of mine – 3 full boxes of Formica wall tiles from approximately 1959, one box is the pink with gold splatter, 2 boxes are the same color mix from the Nassau line. I’m not sure what I plan on doing with them yet, but if you would like a few pieces for your library I would be happy to send them. I have photos of the tiles (10×10″) and boxes if you would like them also.

install formica wall tile instructions

vinyl Lam-O-Tile wall tile
See the Lam-O-Tiles here

Oh my word, I about jump out of my skin, so excited about this find. I’ve never seen, heard or read about these Formica wall tiles. Although… remember those Lam-o-Tiles I featured in 2015? The Formica and the Lam-o’s seem like a very similar concept: An easy-to-install, easy-to-clean plastic alternative to ceramic tile or paint. They must have been something the industry tried, but discarded for lack of market interest.

Rare vintage Formica wall tiles — in their original packaging — saved from the dumpster!

 
Mike sends me more photos and the back story:
Hi Pam, here are a few more photos for you to choose from if you blog. It’s funny that something as seemingly common as laminate is more coveted than many pieces of quality furniture that I’ve found, but it’s so hard to find. We have a 1951 Boles Aero travel trailer that we are refurbishing, which is why I was looking for materials at a local Restore where I found them — they thought they were just trash and were headed to the bin!  Which I’m afraid is what happens to a lot of this stuff 🙁  Also, a question – I’ve seen some mention while researching the patterns that the Nassau patterns are a Raymond Loewy design, just wondering if you know if that is true or not?
 
Cheers, mike
Thank you, Mike — these are so wonderful! A million exclamation points for you! 
 
Regarding your question about Raymond Loewy and the Formica Nassau pattern, I think it’s a good bet that his firm did design this pattern. I don’t see the pattern shown on various brochures I can find immediately online, but Formica’s history page below notes his involvement during the 1950s. The design-y-ness of the patterns seems like it would be a fit for this famed industrial designer I’ll do some further checking — or perhaps a reader can dig and find out a primary source material that confirms it.
 
raymond loewy formica designs

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