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Drexel Furniture Company

by Wiley J. Williams, 2006Drexel Furniture Company, rebuilt two weeks after 1906 fire. Image courtesy of Burke County Public Library.

The Drexel Furniture Company was incorporated on 10 Nov. 1903 and began making fine furniture in a small factory near Morganton in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. In time, the company acquired other furniture plants, including the Table Rock Furniture Company in 1951 and the Heritage Furniture Company and Morganton Furniture Company in 1956. On 1 Dec. 1960 Drexel Furniture became Drexel Enterprises, Inc., and the following year it acquired the Southern Desk Company, manufacturer of a broad line of institutional furniture and equipment for laboratories, libraries, classrooms, dormitories, and churches.

In 1968 U.S. Plywood-Champion Papers bought Drexel Enterprises. As a subsidiary of Champion, the company became Drexel Heritage Furnishings, Inc. Champion sold Drexel Heritage to Dominick International Corporation, a private New York brokerage and investment banking firm, in August 1977. In 1986 Drexel Heritage became a wholly owned subsidiary of Masco Corporation, which, by buying several other leading North Carolina furniture makers, became by the late 1980s the largest U.S. furniture manufacturer.

Drexel for many years sold home and institutional furniture both domestically and abroad. Many of the best-known hotels in the world purchased Drexel furniture, and contracts with the U.S. State Department and the General Services Administration placed Drexel furniture in American embassies and government offices all over the world. In 2004 Drexel Heritage Furniture Industries, Inc., as part of Furniture Brands International, was based in High Point and had 1,300 employees working at several facilities in North Carolina. It remained one of the nation's leading residential furniture manufacturers, producing a variety of wooden and upholstered furniture under several brand names.

References:

Allen C. Irvine, Sixty Years of Progress in the Making of Fine Furniture: Drexel Enterprises, Inc., 1903-1963 [1963?].

Edward W. Phifer, Burke: The History of a North Carolina County, 1777-1920 (1977).

Additional Resources:

Drexel Heritage Furniture Industries, Inc.: http://www.drexelheritage.com/

Image Credit:

Drexel Furniture Company, rebuilt two weeks after 1906 fire. Image courtesy of Burke County Public Library. Available from http://pictureburke.bcpls.org/places_3.htm (accessed July 3, 2012).

 

Origin - location: 

Comments

Comment: 

DINING ROOM pedestal table mark 739-38. Please tell me the age and value

Comment: 

Thanks for visiting NCpedia and the entry on the Drexel Furniture Company.

Unfortunately, NCpedia isn't able to provide that information, however, an antiques dealer might be able to help you.  

Reference Services at the Govt. & Heritage Library will also be able to help you locate additional information. You can find their contact information at http://statelibrary.ncdcr.gov/contact.html. Librarians at your local public library can help as well.

Good luck in your research!

Kelly Agan, Government & Heritage Library

Comment: 

We recently inherited my mom's 1956 Drexel Furniture Company of North Carolina Dining Room Suite. We laughed so hard because each of the chairs has a piece of paper from the company of it that states there is a fine of $5. - $500 for taking the paper off. I guess $5.00 was a lot of money then.

Comment: 

I have a dinning room set, Oval Oak dining table full length is 98" (2 removal 18" leaves), 6 chairs (3 captains w/arms), Hutch 52" long, 17" deep, 77.5" high, buffet 40.5", 20" deep, 30" high - top folds out to 76", Hutch and Buffet both on wheels for easy moving, Table has complete set of protective felt pads.
* Does anyone have the date of manufacture of these or a way of telling it?
* Does anyone value of these or a way of getting it?
Thanks.

Comment: 

I also have a bedroom set, mahogony, i believe. It has the queen size bed with chest of drawers and dresser w mirror. Its beautifully kept in my parents home until abt a yr ago when i got it to my home. I need to know its value and yr of manufacture.its serpintine front w all original hardware.

Comment: 

Thanks for visiting NCpedia and the entry on the Drexel Furniture Company.

Unfortunately, NCpedia isn't able to provide that information, however, an antiques dealer might be able to help you.  

Reference Services at the Govt. & Heritage Library will also be able to help you locate additional information. You can find their contact information at http://statelibrary.ncdcr.gov/contact.html. Librarians at your local public library can help as well.

Good luck in your research!

Kelly Agan, Government & Heritage Library

Comment: 

Hi,

Thanks for posting your questions. I'm forwarding them to Reference Services at the NC Government & Heritage Library as they may have some resources to help determine an estimated date of manufacture.

As for the value of the pieces, you may wish to contact a local used furniture dealer. Reference Services may be able to help you locate one near you if you are in North Carolina.

Good luck in your research!

Michelle Underhill, Digital Information Management Program, NC Government & Heritage Library

Comment: 

I have a Bicentennial Mahogany (102-620) Night Stand and would like to find a mate to it. Can you help ?

Comment: 

I recommend contacting the furniture company, if it is Drexel (http://www.drexelheritage.com/), or a used furniture dealer near you if it is older.

Good luck!

Michelle Underhill, Digital Information Management Program. NC Government & Heritage Library 

Comment: 

I am trying to find information as to age/price of a set of 8 Drexel chairs that have stamps on the bottom 50-11 62 and com rr15252 does your library have any info that might be helpful. thanks

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Copyright notice

This article is from the Encyclopedia of North Carolina edited by William S. Powell. Copyright © 2006 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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