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This article is from the Encyclopedia of North Carolina edited by William S. Powell. Copyright © 2006 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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Broyhill Furniture

by John L. Bell, 2006

Modern-day Broyhill Furniture Industries, Inc., grew out of the Lenoir Chair Company, founded in 1926 by James Edgar Broyhill in Lenoir. Broyhill upholstered chairs on consignment, but he believed that he could operate on his own. His chair company was immediately successful, and Broyhill expanded his product line in the early 1940s by buying six small furniture plants in Lenoir and nearby towns, organizing them all under the name of Broyhill Furniture Factories. The emphasis in early years was on the production of inexpensive to medium-priced bedroom and upholstered furniture.

A slump in furniture sales in the 1940s and 1950s caused Broyhill to make changes. These included a paid sales staff, modernized factories, the production of more expensive and stylish products, quality control, national advertising, and the production of plastic and ready-to-assemble furniture. Sales more than tripled to $265 million in the years from 1966 to 1979. In 1980 Interco, Inc., of St. Louis, a shoe and clothing manufacturer, bought Broyhill, Ethan Allen, Inc., and later Lane Home Furnishings. In 1991 Interco, overextended and seeking bankruptcy protection from creditors, began to concentrate on furniture as its primary product. The company subsequently established Broyhill Showcase Galleries to show and sell Broyhill furnishings. By the early 2000s, there were 340 of these galleries, as well as 475 Broyhill Furniture Centers, around the nation. Broyhill Furniture Industries, Inc., as a subsidiary of Interco's latest incarnation, Furniture Brands International, remains one of the world's largest manufacturers of medium-priced furniture.

References:

Elizabeth Rourke, "Broyhill Furniture Industries, Inc.," International Directory of Business Histories, vol. 10 (1995).

William Stevens, Anvil of Adversity: Biography of a Furniture Pioneer (1968).

Additional Resources:

Broyhill Furniture website: http://www.broyhillfurniture.com/ (accessed November 8, 2012).

State of North Carolina Governor's Press Office "Gov. Easley Announces Creation of 432 Jobs in Caldwell County: One North Carolina Grant Helps Broyhill Furniture Industries Grow in Lenoir." (press release). State Capitol, Raleigh, N.C. September 11, 2008. http://digital.ncdcr.gov/u?/p16062coll5,9853 (accessed November 8, 2012).

"Lenoir Forging Ahead in Quality-Variety Furniture Making." The E. S. C. Quarterly 10. No. 1-2. Winter-Spring 1952. p. 28-33. http://digital.ncdcr.gov/u?/p249901coll22,451986 (accessed November 8, 2012).

Image Credits:

"NC Furniture Manufacturing" (Flickr slideshow) https://www.flickr.com/photos/north-carolina-state-archives/sets/72157606542436571/show/

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Comments

Comment: 

Hi - I have beautiful Broyhill Tommy Bahama bedroom furniture I bought in Naples Florida at a small design furniture store in 2005. I am trying to find the name of the specific style of the pieces & will need your help. I do have pictures - can you send me to the right person or website so I can send the information? Thank you.
Barbara Klobe

Comment: 

I was given a Broyhill Fontana bedroom set when my uncle died. It has the headboard but no footboard. Do you know where I can find a footboard? I have been searching the internet for days not.

Comment: 

Dear Ms. Jones,

Thank you for your comment and for visiting NCpedia! Please note that the page that you commented on is an online encyclopedia article about Broyhill Furniture and that you have reached the Government & Heritage Library, part of the State Library of North Carolina. We are not the Broyhill Furniture company.

Unfortunately, we do not have information on Broyhill products. I suggest you contact the company directly through their website: https://www.broyhillfurniture.com/. 

I apologize that we do not have the information you are seeking, but wish you the best of luck in your search! Please don't hesitate to let us know if you have any further questions.

Thank you,

Taylor Thompson, Government & Heritage Library

Comment: 

My friend has dining room chairs that the swivels fall out,is there any replacement fix for them?I tried www broyhill.com and cant get through

Comment: 

Hello,

This site is an online encyclopedia of things related to North Carolina. For questions for the company, please go to https://broyhillfurniture.com/.

Thanks!

Erin Bradford, Government and Heritage Library

Comment: 

I have tables with the stock number 301307. Just wondering what year they were from?

Comment: 

Hi Stacy,

Thank you for your question. Unfortunately, we do not have any information on Broyhill's products. I suggest contacting the company directly at: https://www.broyhillfurniture.com/ I wish you luck in your research.

Best wishes,

Christopher - NC Government and Heritage Library

Comment: 

I have a chair marked "Registry No. CAL-2663" can you tell me anything about it?

Comment: 

Hi Sandy,

Thank you for your question. Unfortunately, we do not have any information on Broyhill's products. I suggest contacting the company directly at: https://www.broyhillfurniture.com/ I wish you luck in your research.

Best wishes,

Elizabeth Hayden, Government & Heritage Library

Comment: 

I have chairs that tags read Ont. Reg, No, 66D9010, Registry No. CAL.--4319 and was wondering the year they were manufactured. Please and thank you,

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