What Were Some Popular Brands of Early American Furniture?


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The John and Joseph W. Meeks furniture company was a New York store and distribution warehouse that specialized in the manufacture of cabinets and upholstered furniture beginning in 1797. Several popular craftsmen in colonial America specialized in Windsor chairs and created their own individual brands, including the S. Roberts company of Newmill, New Jersey, and the Joseph Birdsey Jr. company of Connecticut. Master craftsman Duncan Phyfe's name was heavily associated and often attached to the curule chair that he popularized.

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Most furniture makers in the colonial and early American periods were individual businessmen who specialized in a particular type or style of furniture. This independence and provincial attitude toward business is why there are few nationally recognized brand names from the 18th or early 19th centuries. For the most part, furniture brands did not have a national scope or concentrate on mass distribution until the rise of J.H. Belter and Co. cabinetmakers and Mitchell and Rammelsberg in the mid-19th century.

Many modern companies and furniture makers attempt to faithfully recreate colonial styles and period trends such as the Pilgrim, the William and Mary, the Queen Anne, the Chippendale and the Federal Empire. These companies include Lefort and Company, Ltd., Andersen and Stauffer Furniture Makers, Baker Furniture and Charles Bender and Company.

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