Curator Snippets: Jamestown Furniture

Lafayette Corners has collaborated with the Fenton History Center for their store exhibit. The furniture manufacturers that will be featured are Maddox, Crawford, Jamestown Lounge, Union National, Monitor, Jamestown Sterling and Jamestown Royal. A display board similar to our timeline in the Furniture Exhibition on the second floor, will be created.

We will be referring to The Jamestown Furniture Industry: History in Wood 1816-1920 by Clarence C. Carlson, Vernelle A. Hatch’s (ed) Illustrated History of Jamestown: Chautauqua County, N.Y. and the Jamestown New York Historical and Industrial Review. Plus newspaper clippings from the Post-Journal and other sources. Maddox was founded by William Maddox who invented the reclining rocking chair. The company was in business from 1886 to 1978. Our Furniture Exhibition includes a secretary desk by Maddox c. 1920s. They were located at 101-25 Harrison Street. Crawford (formerly Atlas Furniture), was one of the biggest furniture manufacturers in Jamestown, eventually purchasing Maddox and Jamestown Lounge. Crawford was open from 1887 to 2012. They were located at 301 Harrison Street. One of the buildings of Jamestown Lounge had a grocery store for their employees. Our Furniture Exhibition has several pieces by Jamestown Lounge such as a feudal oak chair, a British oak chair c. 1938-1949 and a mid-century chair c. 1960. Jamestown Lounge manufactured from 1888 to 1984. They were located at 38-58 Winsor Street. Union National (formerly Union Furniture), was known for making high-grade dining room and library furniture. They were open from 1901 to 1994. They were located at 226 Crescent Street. Monitor was in business from 1920 to 1981, and built solid cherry furniture and phonograph cabinets for the Edison Company. They were located at 92 Steele Street. Jamestown Sterling (in operation from 1926 to 1994) adapted the Roycroft Collection as functional period furniture became more fashionable. They were located at Allen Street Extension. Jamestown Royal, in business from 1929 to 2014, made furniture used by the Supreme Court Justices, including Robert H. Jackson of Jamestown. They also named their “Forever Darling” arm chair for Jamestown-born actress, Lucille Ball. Our Furniture Exhibition also shows a mid-century chair by Jamestown Royal. They were located at 300 Crescent Street.

Many thanks to Rick Roll for digitizing the images, and to Barb Cessna for directing me to them. Also, to Norman Carlson for his extra input and Matthew Tsitso for the inventory of the Furniture Room.

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