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Furniture

800 BC
Nimrud, capital of Assyria, 500 miles east of Byblos, sample of ivory carving from a piece of furniture depicting a woman in a window wearing an Egyptian wig.
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1368
1644
The period of the Ming Dynasty in China. Classical Chinese furniture refers to furniture made during the Ming and early Ching (1644-1912). During the Ming Dynasty the Great Wall of China was extended and renovated with watch towers and canons.
Links: China, Furniture     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1765
Shaw Furniture of Cambridge, Mass., was in business as early as this time and continued operating into the 1920s. During the 18th century Shaw made furniture using convict labor from Charleston State Prison.
Links: USA, Massachusetts, Furniture     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1835
The Paine Furniture Co. began operations in Boston, Mass. It later moved to Cape Cod changed its name to Paine’s Patio.
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1847
Richard Mitchell (1811-1899) and Frederick Rammelsberg (1814-1863) founded Mitchell & Rammelsberg to manufacture furniture in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Links: USA, Ohio, Antique, Furniture     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1855
Jakob Hunzinger (1835-1898), German cabinet maker, moved to the US and opened a furniture manufacturing shop in NYC.
Links: USA, Germany, NYC, Furniture     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1858
Tell City, Ind., was founded as a planned community of Swiss furniture craftsmen from Cincinnati, Ohio.
Links: USA, Switzerland, Ohio, Indiana, Antique, Furniture     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1865
Swiss furniture craftsmen formed the Chair Makers Union of Tell City, Ind. This later became the Tell City Chair Co.
Links: USA, Switzerland, Indiana, Antique, Furniture     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1872 Jun 4
Harvey Flint (d.1882) patented his Quaker Bitters, a general cure-all with 21.4% alcohol. He had recently left a family furniture business in Providence, Rhode Island, and began making Quaker Bitters under the name Flint & Co.
Links: USA, Medical, Liquor, Rhode Island, Furniture     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1875
Amos G. Rhodes opened his first retail furniture store in Atlanta, Ga. The company expanded to 80 stores in 13 states, but went bankrupt in 2005.
Links: GeorgiaUS, USA, Retail, Furniture     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1879
The American Furniture Co. was first organized in Batesville, Ind. It was re-organized in 1888 and in 1930 merged with 2 other firms to form RomWeber Co.
Links: USA, Indiana, Furniture     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1880
Andrew J. Cron joined R.B. Kills to found Cron Kills Co., a furniture manufacturer, in Piqua, Ohio.
Links: USA, Ohio, Furniture     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1881
David and William White founded their White Furniture Co. in Mebane, NC. The business continued until 1993.
Links: USA, North Carolina, Furniture     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1881
George B. Mattoon founded his Mattoon Manufacturing Co. in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. From 1904 to the 1950s the company manufactured upscale furniture. The name of the company was changed to Northern Furniture following Mattoon’s death (1916), when the Reiss family took over and re-named it R-Way Furniture. The Northern Furniture brand name continued.
Links: USA, Wisconsin, Furniture     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1886
The Grand Rapids School Furniture Company was founded in Grand Rapids, Mich. By 1899 the company had merged with 18 others to form the American Seating Co. of NYC.
Links: USA, Michigan, Furniture     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
1887
Pennsylvania House was founded in Lewisburg, Pa., to make high-quality case furniture. In 2000 La-Z-Boy bought the company and in 2004 moved production to China.
Links: USA, Pennsylvania, Furniture     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1889
Louis Frederick Nonnast (41), a German immigrant (1865), had his own Chicago furniture factory by this time. In 1914 the firm was renamed Louis F. Nonnast & Sons.
Links: USA, Chicago, Furniture     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1892
The Royal furniture Co. began operating in Grand Rapids, Mich., and continued to 1931. In 1901 Robert Irwin bought a controlling interest and in 1919 combined royal with the Phoenix furniture Co., also in Grand Rapids, to form the Robert W. Irwin Co, which closed in 1953.
Links: USA, Michigan, Furniture     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1893
Otto H.L. Wernicke founded the Wernicke Furniture Co. in Minneapolis, Minn., to manufacture his patented elastic bookcases, later known as stackable bookcases. In 1897 he moved the business to Grand Rapids, Mich.
Links: USA, Minnesota, Furniture     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1896
Fred Macey opened his own furniture factory in Grand Rapids, Mich. His company made rolltop desks and other furniture. In 1905 he merged with Wernicke Furniture to form Macey-Wernicke Co., which name was simplified in 1908 to Macey Co. It went out of business in 1940.
Links: USA, Michigan, Furniture     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
Timelines
A text-based site.
1896
The Luce Furniture Co. began operations in Grand Rapids, Mich., and continued to 1930. In 1912 it claimed to be the largest shipper of Mission dining room furniture in the country. The company reorganized and reopened from 1935 to 1938.
Links: USA, Michigan, Furniture     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1897
Otto H.L. Wernicke moved his Wernicke Furniture Co. from Minneapolis, Minn., to Grand Rapids, Mich.
Links: USA, Minnesota, Michigan, Furniture     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1900
Frank Doernbecher (d.1921) founded Doernbecher Manufacturing in Portland, Oregon. The company was eventually taken over by Barker Furniture.
Links: USA, Oregon, Furniture     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1903
F. Stuart Foote founded the Imperial Furniture Co. in Grand Rapids, Mich. The company was sold in 1954.
Links: USA, Michigan, Furniture     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1904
Otto H.L. Wernicke joined his Michigan furniture business with the Ohio Globe Files Co. to form the Globe-Wernicke Co. Around 1905 Wernicke Furniture purchased the Fred Macey Furniture Co. and began making stackable bookcases. Globe-Wernicke sued Macey in 1906 for using its patents. After years of litigation Globe lost.
Links: USA, Ohio, Michigan, Furniture     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1905
Alliance Furniture was founded in Jamestown, NY, by a group of 8 partners of Swedish heritage. The company manufactured high-quality dining-room furniture until at least the 1950s.
Links: USA, New York, Furniture     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1906
Arthur and Lucia Matthews opened their Furniture Shop in the California Street home of John Zeile in order to contribute to the aesthetic rebuilding of SF following the earthquake. The shop closed in 1920.
Links: USA, SF, Furniture     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1906
The B.F. Huntley Furniture Co. opened in Winston-Salem, NC. It had been organized as the Oakland Furniture Co. in 1898. In 1929 it was purchased by the Simmons Co., then based in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Links: USA, North Carolina, Furniture     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1912
Eric B. Savage incorporated his M.W. Savage Factories in Minneapolis. His was one of the first mail-order furniture houses.
Links: USA, Minnesota, Furniture     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1931
Castro Convertible Corp. began operating in New York as a maker of convertible sofa beds. It was sold to Krause’s Furniture in 1993. Krause closed in 2002.
Links: USA, New York, Furniture     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1932
Barzilla L. Marble (b.1851), Ohio chair maker, died. His B.L. Marble Chair Co. made chairs for homes from 1894 to 1910, when the company switched to making office furniture. In 1965 Marble Chair merged with the Dictaphone Corp.
Links: USA, Ohio, Furniture     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1938
Hans G. Knoll, Germany immigrant, founded the Knoll furniture company in NYC. In 2010 Brian Lutz authored “”Knoll: A Modernist Universe.”
Links: USA, NYC, Furniture     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1956 Feb 14
The B.F. Huntley furniture plant in Winston-Salem, NC, was destroyed by fire. The factory was rebuilt and the Huntley name continued until it was sold to Thomasville Furniture Industries in 1961.
Links: USA, North Carolina, Fire, Furniture     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1978 Aug 21
Charles Eames (1907-1978), an American polymath artist, died. Together with his wife he designed numerous objects, furniture and made more than 75 films.
Links: Artist, USA, Film, Furniture     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1980
Prof. John Kassay (1919-2005) authored “The Book of Shaker Furniture.”
Links: USA, Books, Furniture     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
1983 Dec
Segundo Marey, a French furniture dealer, was kidnapped from his home in France as a suspected Basque terrorist. In 1998 in Spain former Interior Minister Jose Barrionuevo and Rafael Vera, former director of state security, were arrested for the kidnapping and misappropriation of government funds for the crimes along with Julian Sancristobal, former civil governor of Vizcaya province.
Links: Spain, France, ETA, Furniture     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1998 Apr 29
In England it was reported that Nicholas van Hoogstraten was building the largest and most expensive house of the century in Sussex, named Hamilton Place at a cost of $50 million. The palace was to include a gallery for his French furniture and a mausoleum for his future.
Links: Britain, Architect, Furniture     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1998
Tibor Kalman published "Chairman," a tribute to Swiss chair entrepreneur Rolf Fehlbaum, head of the Vitra furniture company. It traces the development of chairs through history.
Links: Switzerland, Books, Furniture     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2004 Dec 3
In Russia 15 people were killed when a fire broke out in a furniture factory warehouse in the Moscow region.
Links: Russia, Fire, Furniture     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2004 Dec 10
A US trade panel gave final approval to anti-dumping duties of up to 198 percent on imports of about $1.2 billion worth of wooden bedroom furniture from China.
Links: USA, China, Furniture     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
Timelines
A text-based site.
2007 Jan 26
Hans J. Wegner (b.1914), Danish furniture designer, died in Copenhagen. He created an average of five chairs for every year of his life.
Links: Denmark, Architect, Furniture     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2007 Jun 18
In Charleston, SC, a fire swept through a furniture warehouse, collapsing the building's roof and claiming the lives of nine firefighters.
Links: USA, South Carolina, Fire, Furniture     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2009 Jan 12
Sofa retailer Land of Leather filed for bankruptcy protection, becoming the latest British retailer to succumb to a downturn in consumer spending amid the global economic slowdown.
Links: Britain, Furniture     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2009 Sep 9
James Krenov, world-renowned cabinetmaker, died in Fort Bragg, Ca. His first book was titled “A Cabinetmaker’s Notebook” was published in 1976.
Links: USA, California, Furniture     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
2009 Oct 11
Alan Peters (76), British master furniture maker, died.
Links: Britain, Furniture     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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