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Frederick William Dancker's 'Modern Dwellings, 100 Selected Designs' was likely compiled in 1903 during an extended leave of absence from work and was published by Webb & Sons, Grenfell Street in early 1904. Within this document, largely copying the layout, structure and cover graphic of American architect George Barber's 'Modern Dwellings' catalogue, Dancker markets his services as a residential designer to the Adelaide public, providing photographs of recent work of note, proposal drawings in a variety of styles and international photographs of American and British Queen Anne contemporary architecture for inspiration. Many of these international images were sourced directly from earlier editions of Barber's 'Modern Dwellings,' and from Dancker's own personal library of architectural volumes, now retained by the UniSA Architecture Museum. Dancker provides ample commentary on these images, commencing the document with a eloquent introduction addressing the concerns of his public regarding residential design. He also outlines his residential design philosophy and a list of important features for inclusion in a 'modern home.'
Though this unique document was evidently intended as a marketing strategy to his immediate public, Dancker's 'Modern Dwellings' is of great value to architectural historians today as both documentation of existing works by the largely-overlooked architect and for its insight into the working methods of a prominent Federation-period architect in South Australia.
Recently, the author of this website has undertaken extensive research in the attempt to identify all works featured within this volume; an endeavour in which the author was largely successful. This resulted in the discovery of a large body of work by F. W. Dancker & Son outside of those listed in this document, resulting in the findings of this digital database.
Where known, identification of residential designs by Dancker and source of international images are identified in the document above.
Cover of Barber's 1901, Modern Dwellings and their Proper Construction, Knoxville, Tennessee.
Advertisement for Dancker's Modern Dwellings in 1904. (Australian Christian Commonwealth, 1904, Advertisement, Fri 3 Jun, p. 6.)
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