Drexel and the Furniture Maker That Took Its Name

A Caldwell County furniture worker in 1943. Image from the State Archives.On November 10, 1903, Drexel Furniture was founded by six partners in the small Burke County town of Drexel. One of the partners, Samuel Huffman, managed the business until his death in 1935. At that time, his son Robert took control of the operation.

Robert transformed the enterprise from a small one manufacturing mostly low-cost pieces to one of the leading producers of traditional and modern furniture in the country. Throughout the 1950s, the company acquired a number of its competitors and, in the 1960s, it secured several lucrative contracts with the U.S. State Department and schools and hospitals that literally took the brand around the world.

In the late 1960s, 1970s and 1980s the company changed hands a number of times, eventually becoming part of the massive Masco Corporation which sells a variety of home improvement and construction products.

Today, the company is a division of Furniture Brands International, which owns a number of other North Carolina companies including Broyhill, Hickory Chair and Thomasville.

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