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Ethan Allen Furniture History, Fine Quality American Made Furniture

Ethan Allen Furniture Company – A Brief History

Most people recognize the name Ethan Allen furniture as one of the premier furniture brands in the United States. What is the history of Ethan Allen furniture.

Ethan Allen Furniture The history of the Ethan Allen company reaches as far back as the 1930s when two brothers-in-law purchased a failing furniture company in Beecher Falls Vermont.

History of Ethan Allen Furniture

Plentiful Vermont forests of hard rock maple and pine trees made the Beecher Falls Furniture 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 furniture 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 Etahan Allen Furniture co. still produces fabulous high quality pieces today, Bohemian’s favors Ethan Allen furniture from the 1940’s to the 1970’s. In brief Bohemian’s furniture store considers this period 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. Bohemian’s vintage store loves the traditional shaker and colonial styles that seem to work in all types of homes. In the long run we know that vintage Ethan Allen furniture will last for years to come.

History of Ethan Allen Furniture

Ethan Allen Furniture Take a look at the back of most Ethan Allen furniture from this furniture 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. Above all and more specifically, Ethan Allen furniture is 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.

31 thoughts on “Ethan Allen Furniture History, Fine Quality American Made Furniture

  1. Hi.

    I have my parents Ethan Allen Royal Charter Oak trestle dining tables and chairs. I beleive it is dated 1976. It is the darker finish, before EA made the finish lighter in the early 1980’s. The table has a few light watermarks. Do you have advice how I can remove the marks without totally refinishing?

    Also I recently purchased the matching Ethan Allen Royal Charter Oak tall clock. The case is in original condition. I am looking for advice about the maker of the clock workings and the best way to have it conditioned and repaired. The hour chime will not stop until the weight runs down. I had a clock repair person out and he tinkered and oiled the clock and gave me a $600 bill. The problem started up again 3 days later and the clock also ran slow after he “fixed” it. When I called again he said he could pull out the works and put in all new for $1,500. He also said as an option he could install a battery powered clockwork for a lot less (cringe). I’m all for restoration and not replacement. Do you have any advice? I’m in Virginia near Washington, DC.

    Thank you,

    1. Hi Michael.
      My best advice on the table is to try a product called “Restore-a-finish” by Howard’s.” (They make different color products but for darker finishes, I would suggest “Dark Walnut.”) You can use it with a soft rag, or a very fine steel wool (0000 grade is the best). Apply liberally and move in the direction of the grain. Then, you can finish with their beeswax product to help protect the table and finish. Again, buff on with a soft rag (an old tee-shirt works best).

      I am sorry about your clock. Our local clock shop does a fantastic job. They are located in Hagerstown, Maryland (probably about 1 hour away from you). Northside Clock Shop is the name, and they are run by the Martin family. I would suggest calling, first. Mr. Martin will either be able to troubleshoot over the phone, or give you instructions to bring the clock in to their shop. (They may also do house-calls, but I am not sure about the price.) When we have had our grandfather clocks serviced there, they do a thorough job and also run the clock for several cycles to double check the accuracy. Sometimes they keep the clock for several weeks. I hope this helps! Best of luck with it! Thank you for writing!

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