Thomasville Furniture Industries entered the first decade of the 20th century as the fledgling Thomasville Chair Company in a bustling railroad-side community in the triad area of North Carolina, near High Point, the furniture capital. Founded in 1904, it was just one of many chair manufacturers scattered throughout North Carolina. It turned out 180 chairs a day and owed two local timber farmers, T.J. Finch and his brother C.F. Finch, $2,000 for lumber.
When the company couldn't pay its debt in cash, the Finch brothers reluctantly accepted stock instead and decided to buy out the other stockholders. Business improved immediately under the astute guidance of the Finch family with sales topping $1 million by 1917 and the company becoming recognized for innovations in design as well as manufacturing quality. The Thomasville Chair Company achieved many "firsts" for the furniture industry. These included the first national sales force in the furniture industry and the first American furniture company to produce and sell an entire suite of furniture: Thomasville dining tables, buffets and chairs.
To survive the Great Depression, the company stopped paying dividends to stockholders and management took a cut in salary. Then, in 1933 the company began a series of trade classes which enabled hundreds of their employees to learn new and better manufacturing techniques.
In 1941, Thomasville Chair Co. went to war with the rest of the country, making items requested by the federal government, including: double decker bunk beds for the Army, wooden plugs for bombs, tent stakes, wooden spatulas and rolling pins. And with 597 company men serving in the war, the first group of women reported for work in March of 1942.
During the 1950's, sales reached $17 million, many innovations in machinery were made and the company's reputation for crafting quality furniture grew. In the '60s, the company (under the direction of Tom A. Finch) received a new name, Thomasville Furniture Industries, Inc. In 1968, it was acquired by Armstrong World Industries. In the 70's, Thomasville entered the contract market, providing furnishings for hotels and inns, primarily in the United States. In 1984, they expanded into Government sales, and their products can be found in military facilities worldwide. In December 1995, Thomasville was purchased by Furniture Brands International, Inc., a major residential furniture company located in St. Louis, MO.
Today, Thomasville Furniture Industries is a full-line furniture manufacturer with dedicated galleries in more than 400 leading independent retail furniture stores. Additionally, there are over 160 Thomasville Home Furnishing stores which carry only Thomasville products.
The famous Big Chair, an 18-foot reproduction of a Duncan Phyfe design (first erected in 1922 and rebuilt in 1951) still stands in the town square as a symbol of the mutual success of a now famous chair company - and the town that cherishes its nickname, "Chair City".
Thomasville Ceiling Lights ()
Thomasville Lamp Shades ()
Thomasville Outdoor Lighting ()
Thomasville has recently expanded their selection of furniture to include Thomasville Lighting, a line of lighting fixtures designed to accent Thomasville home furnishings. Browse Thomasville Lighting's selection of interior lamps, ceiling fixtures, wall fixtures, ceiling fans and lamp shades to find the lighting fixture that best accents your decor. All Thomasville Lighting ships free.Read more