Sitting Pretty: A History of the Furniture Industry in North Carolina, 1700 to the Present

For much of the second half of the twentieth century, the names of North Carolina companies such as Broyhill, Drexel, Henredon, and Thayer-Coggin represented the best in American furniture manufacturing, and High Point earned the title of “Furniture Capital of the World.” But the furniture industry in the state is actually more than 300 years old, and this illustrated presentation follows that history from the early eighteenth century to the present. A fascinating array of diverse styles and traditions are explored, from early hand-made pieces by English and Scots-Irish cabinetmakers along the coastal plains and eastern piedmont, to the Germanic influences found in the western piedmont; and from the rural folk traditions of the mountains and foothills to modern manufacturing in towns such as Hickory, Thomasville, and High Point. The work of several prominent makers is also presented, including the famous “WH” cabinetmaker of the lower Roanoke River Basin during the late eighteenth century, and Thomas Day, the free African American furniture maker and entrepreneur who built a successful business in the late antebellum era.

Requirements: lectern, carousel slide projector and screen, or power point projector, MAC compatible (preferred)