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Tripping Back to '60s Decor

April 08, 1999|CONNIE KOENENN

From its modest start in 1860 as a company selling hand-cut cork bottle stoppers, the Armstrong Cork Co. has grown into today's giant Armstrong World Industries, wielding immeasurable influence on the look of the American home in the process. A key decade in the transformation has been chronicled in "Interior Solutions From Armstrong: The 1960s" (Schiffer Publishing Ltd.) by C. Eugene Moore, longtime director of public relations for Armstrong, now retired.

As the original Armstrong linoleum flooring (made from ground cork) and corkboard acoustical ceilings blossomed into a rich array of vinyls, patterns and colors, the company also perfected its marketing techniques.

At the Lancaster, Pa., headquarters, the Armstrong staff of interior designers created, constructed, lighted and photographed room interiors for ads as rich in ideas for home design as any of today's shelter magazines.

"People were starting to express their individuality in home design, and that fit right into Armstrong's plans," Moore said. His handsome, 175-page book, with its decorating motifs from country gingham to French provincial, not only shows the cultural changes in homes of the 1960s, but also provides a wealth of ideas for today's decorator.

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