Monday, August 3, 2009
Let's learn about...Heywood-Wakefield!
Friends, I'd like to start a new recurring series today where we dive a little deeper and learn about some of the great mid-century furniture lines and designers. I'll dig up what I can, and feel free to chime in with any additional info or suggestions. For this post, I found helpful information here and here.
Let's start with Heywood-Wakefield, a furniture company begun by the 5 Heywood brothers in Massachusetts in 1826. The brothers got their start manufacturing simple chairs in a barn. With their business flourishing by the end of the 1800s, they joined forces with the Wakefield Rattan Company. In the mid-1930s, Heywood-Wakefield started a trend in "modern" furniture: solid birch, steam bent and blonde!
From 1936 to 1966 they introduced various lines, with great names such as "Sculptura", "Crescendo" and "Kohinoor". In 1992 the company was resurrected under new ownership from South Beach Furniture and the "new" Heywood-Wakefield began manufacturing again. The new pieces -- now called "Streamline" -- are also constructed of solid birch but have a lighter finish than the vintage line.
From Craigslist to eBay, Heywood-Wakefield furniture still fetches a pretty penny. If you are the lucky owner of any of this furniture, congratulations! You have a true American design classic on your hands.