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History of Ethan Allen Furniture

Ethan Allen Furniture (A Brief History)

Most people recognize the name Ethan Allen as one of the premier furniture makers in the United States.

The history of the company reaches as far back as the 1930s when two brothers-in-law purchased a failing furniture company in Beecher Falls Vermont. Plentiful Vermont forests of hard rock maple and pine trees made the Beecher Falls Company’s product extremely durable and hearty, but challenging economic times eventually led to their bankruptcy.

Nathan S. Ancell and Theodore Baumritter saw potential and struck to purchase the vestiges of the company, renaming it “Ethan Allen” after the Revolutionary War Hero from Vermont. The throw-back to the revolutionary times also fit the new company’s classic colonial lines and simple style.

Although the company still produces fabulous high quality pieces today, Bohemians favors Ethan Allen pieces that date from the 1940s to 1970s in what we consider the “Golden Age of Ethan Allen.”

Strong dovetail joinery, thick maple and cherry woods, and classic colonial styles: all hallmarks of Ethan Allen’s best lines. We love the traditional shaker and colonial styles that seem to work in all types of homes, and we know that vintage Ethan Allen furniture will last for years to come.

Take a look at the back of most Ethan Allen pieces from this period and you will find real wood, not particle board or staples. Most cabinets and dressers use wood panels in between the drawers. And most wood grain continues from drawer front to cabinet face in a seamless fashion. As a general rule, Ethan Allen of this time period is made with native United States forest woods, not imported woods from Asia, and more specifically, it’s made of New England’s prime growing forests. Hard New England winters produce slow growing trees and tight grain woods. Not so great of a climate for… well… most things, but Perfect for making furniture!

Rachel F.

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