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The Jamestown Furniture Industry: History in Wood 1817-1920

The Jamestown Furniture Industry: History in Wood 1817-1920

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While all but gone today, Jamestown's furniture industry was once the second-largest producer of furniture in the United States. Manufacturing boomed from 1816, when William Breed and Royal Keyes opened their shops, to the 1920s, when Jamestown was still one of the top wood furniture producers in the country. In the nineteenth century, the thriving railroad industry allowed Jamestown's quality creations to be distributed nationwide. After the Civil War, an influx of Swedish immigrants brought their craftsmanship and skills to Jamestown, forming Morgan Manufacturing, Empire Furniture Company and many others. Then, their pieces were valued for quality and durability; today, they're coveted by collectors as beautiful antiques. Local expert Clarence Carlson uncovers the fascinating story of Jamestown furniture.


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