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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.

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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: 

I have a Henredon dresser and I need the plastic piece that guides the drawer to open straight. It is at the back corner of the drawer. I have a picture of it. I need help with this and I do not know where to go. thank you for your help with this.

Comment: 

I have a Heritage wood “parquet” design dining table with one leaf. The number is 153-344 1274 Assume my mom purchased in 70s
Do you know my best avenue to sell
Live in North Florida
Thanks

Comment: 

I have a drexel armoire (for tv), I don't not have the year it wasmade, I have a door hinge that is broken, can anyone help me with where would I find hinges for it.

Comment: 

I can anyone tell me where I can purches, a replacement LEG for a Cabernet II
Senior Oval Dinning Room table that shattered ? # 358-332 Finish W64 D44
H 29 1/2 ? 40yrs old, are there any business that still have such a part?
Thanks

Comment: 

I have two older tables that have heritage stamped into the wood bottom of the drawers, does anyone know what years that they stamped the mark like so? Just trying to get a ides if actually how old they are thanks

Comment: 

Thanks for posting a comment in NCpedia. Unfortunately, we don't have the information you are looking for in NCpedia, but you may want to try contacting a local antique dealer. References Services at the Government and Heritage Library may also be able to point you to some resources that would be helpful in your research. Their email address is slnc.reference@ncdcr.gov. Additional contact information for them may be found at http://statelibrary.ncdcr.gov/contact.html. Good luck!

Best, 

Kelly Eubank, Government and Heritage Library

Comment: 

I have a Drexel Heritage illuminated cabinet. It has shelves for displaying art or favorite pieces and bookshelves on each of the sides. There are two spot lights at the top to illuminate pieces on glass shelves and these lights are no longer working. I have replaced bulbs and they still do not work. I turned the piece around and found at the top where the two spot lights sit. Attached to the lights by wire is a small rectangular box (5” x2”). I hope you can help or direct me to someone. Thank you.

Comment: 

Thanks for posting a comment in NCpedia. Unfortunately, we don't have the information you are looking for in NCpedia, but you may want to try contacting a local antique dealer. References Services at the Government and Heritage Library may also be able to point you to some resources that would be helpful in your research. Their email address is slnc.reference@ncdcr.gov. Additional contact information for them may be found at http://statelibrary.ncdcr.gov/contact.html. Good luck!

Best, 

Kelly Eubank, Government and Heritage Library

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.

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