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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.

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: 

Great information, never thought that they are this old.

Comment: 

I have one drawer pull that broke.
All I have are photos of the pull and a 3-1/2” center to center.

Comment: 

Hi, I have a 1940s Drexel Dresser Bureau. It has a built in Secretary Desk. I can only find one picture of this dresser on the internet. I have searched the internet extensively and come up empty handed. What i need to finish the restoration of this dresser is the HARDWARE only for the fold out drawer front for the secretary. ( the 2 hinges left and right side and the latch that holds the drawer front in place when not in use.) PLEASE HELP . Thank you, Richard

Comment: 

I bought a property that had a Drexel Heritage what looks to me as a writing desk or vanity left behind. I’ve been doing some research on it and have found anything similar to it to compare in price.

Comment: 

We have an early 1900's Drexel Heritage Breakfront that was damaged during a move to Colorado yesterday. Do you know who we may contact to get help with repair in the Denver Colorado area?

Comment: 

Is this company still in business. I have email them and I cannot find a phone number. I need a wooden chair frame repaired and I am looking for a recommendation on where to go in San Antonio, Texas.

Comment: 

Yes. https://www.drexel-furniture.com

 

Erin Bradford, Government and Heritage Library

Comment: 

I have a Drexel Franscisca dining room table from 1972 that I need to refinish. How can I acquire the color of stain that was used to create the table to match the other furniture pieces like the china cabinet to match?

Comment: 

I have a Drexel Heritage Furnishings Table Serial No 12763 (blue sticker on bottom) other numbers stamped on bottom 007-336-34 776 CAMEO BY HERITAGE. Where can I learn more about this specific table.

Comment: 

Hi Cheryl,

I suggest taking a look at the NC Museum of History for suggestions. They will not do appraisals, but they do have suggestions. https://www.ncmuseumofhistory.org/collections/appraisal.

Francesca Evans, Government & Heritage Library

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