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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: 

Hi,
I have four dining chairs I need some info on. The label reads; "made by heritage furniture company, morganton of North Carolina xxxx of Drexel enterprises inc"
Any info on age/ value would be a great help. I want to sell them but do not want to suffer a great loss due to sentimentality. Can also send pics if you provide email address. Thanks.

Comment: 

I have a table I bought used and the bottom says
4-4-3 table by Drexel 6-62.
Is this the same as Drexel Furniture. I live my table it has two flaps that are about 2 ft long tjat flip open with butter fly legs to extend the table on each side

Comment: 

Thanks for using NCpedia!

Unfortunately, we do not have any information about specific Drexel products. You may wish to contact the company or a used furniture dealer. Their website is at http://www.drexelheritage.com/.

Good luck in your research!

Michelle Underhill, NC Government & Heritage Library

Comment: 

I recently purchased a 1960s profile dining table. Perfect condition! Is there anyway of getting a replacement leaf?

Comment: 

Hi Jennifer,

Thanks for visiting NCpedia.

Unfortunately, we do not have any information about specific Drexel products.  You may want to try a search of the web and look for images.

And here is the link to Drexel's web page.  You should be able to find consumer and company contact information -- http://www.drexelheritage.com/.

I hope this information helps.

Good luck!

Kelly Agan, NC Government & Heritage Library

Comment: 

I have a bench made by Drexel Furniture Co, Morganton N.C. on July 1, 1923.
Registry # 982. It's been in my family for 75 years. How do I find out it's value. The original papers are still on the bottom.

Comment: 

Dear Marietta,

Thanks for visiting NCpedia and taking a minute to post your comment and question.

Unfortunately, NCpedia is an online encyclopedia and we don't have any information to help with appraisal questions.  You may want to consider contacting an antiques dealer.

Good luck!

Kelly Agan, NC Government & Heritage Library

Comment: 

I was married in 1966, and we purchased a Drexel dining room set - oval junior table, two side chairs, four chairs and a breakfront. I am giving the set to a grandniece and need a ball park figure for income tax purposes. Can you help me? It is beautiful, and my family and friends have sat around it dozens and dozens of times. Thank you.

Comment: 

Hi Eva,

Thanks for visiting NCpedia and taking a minute to post your comment and question.

Unfortunately, NCpedia is an online encyclopedia and we don't have any information to help with appraisal questions.  You may want to consider contacting an antiques dealer.

Good luck!

Kelly Agan, NC Government & Heritage Library

Comment: 

Looking for a photo of the New Travis Court tall chest. My granddaughter inherited this from her fraternal grandmother and the piece is missing the top pulls. Would like to see if similar ones can be purchased.

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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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