Widdicomb Furniture Company

Widdicomb Furniture Company

The Widdicomb Furniture Company is a renowned American manufacturer of antique and luxury furniture. With a rich history dating back to its founding in 1858 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, the company has established itself as a leader in high-end, vintage, and designer furniture. Known for its commitment to quality and craftsmanship, Widdicomb Furniture offers a wide range of custom and unique pieces that exude elegance and sophistication.

Key Takeaways:

  • Founded in 1858, the Widdicomb Furniture Company has a long history of producing antique and luxury furniture.
  • The company is known for its commitment to quality and craftsmanship, offering high-end, vintage, and designer pieces.
  • Widdicomb Furniture specializes in custom and unique furniture that epitomizes elegance and sophistication.
  • With a reputation for excellence, the company continues to be a prominent name in the furniture industry.
  • Widdicomb Furniture’s collection includes a wide range of styles and materials to suit diverse aesthetic preferences.

History of Widdicomb Furniture Company

The Widdicomb Furniture Company has a rich history that dates back to its founding in 1858 by George Widdicomb in Grand Rapids, Michigan. What started as a humble cabinet shop soon grew into a prominent furniture manufacturing company renowned for its exquisite craftsmanship and distinctive designs. Although the company faced challenges during the Civil War, it managed to rebound and establish a lasting legacy in the industry.

During the Civil War, all four of George Widdicomb’s sons enlisted, leading to the dissolution of the company in 1863. However, after the war, the sons opened a small furniture shop and renamed it Widdicomb Bros. & Richards. This marked a new chapter in the company’s history, setting the stage for its eventual transformation into the Widdicomb Furniture Company.

In 1873, the Widdicomb Furniture Company was officially established, solidifying its position as a prominent player in the furniture industry. Over the years, the company’s product range expanded to encompass a wide array of furniture styles, including antique, vintage, and fine furniture. The quality and attention to detail demonstrated in each piece cemented Widdicomb’s reputation as a provider of high-end, luxury furniture.

“The Widdicomb Furniture Company has a long-standing tradition of producing fine furniture that is treasured for generations.”

Throughout its history, Widdicomb Furniture Company strived to push the boundaries of furniture design, collaborating with influential designers who left an indelible mark on the industry. From the classic elegance of antique furniture to the innovative styles of vintage pieces, Widdicomb Furniture Company’s products consistently reflected the evolving tastes and trends of their time.

Indeed, the history of the Widdicomb Furniture Company is a testament to the enduring legacy of craftsmanship and design excellence. Through its dedication to producing luxury, high-end furniture, the company has left an indelible impression on the furniture industry and continues to be revered by enthusiasts of fine furniture.

Key Points:

  • Founded in 1858 by George Widdicomb in Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Started as a cabinet shop and later grew into a larger furniture manufacturing company
  • Dissolved during the Civil War but reopened as Widdicomb Bros. & Richards after the war
  • Officially established as the Widdicomb Furniture Company in 1873
  • Produced a wide range of furniture styles, including antique, vintage, and fine furniture

Notable Designers at Widdicomb Furniture Company

Throughout its history, Widdicomb Furniture Company had the privilege of working with several notable designers who made significant contributions to the company’s reputation for unique and innovative furniture designs.

T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings

One of the prominent designers who worked for Widdicomb Furniture Company was T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings. He served as a designer for the company from 1943 to 1956. Robsjohn-Gibbings was renowned for his modern furniture designs that combined sleek lines, functional forms, and a minimalist aesthetic. His creations added a contemporary touch to Widdicomb’s product line, aligning with the evolving tastes and preferences of the time.

George Nakashima

Another notable designer associated with Widdicomb Furniture Company was George Nakashima, who designed the “Origin Collection” of pieces from the 1950s to the early 1960s. Nakashima’s designs were inspired by Japanese and Shaker furniture traditions, emphasizing the inherent beauty of wood and showcasing unique joinery techniques. His work brought a distinct artistic and cultural influence to Widdicomb’s offerings, further distinguishing the company in the luxury furniture market.

“T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings and George Nakashima were exceptional designers who left a lasting impact on Widdicomb Furniture Company. Their designs pushed the boundaries of craftsmanship and aesthetics, creating pieces that resonated with discerning customers seeking both functionality and artistic expression in their furnishings.”

(Note: The image above showcases an exquisite piece of designer furniture from Widdicomb Furniture Company.)

Widdicomb Furniture Company’s collaboration with these talented designers underscores its commitment to innovation and craftsmanship in luxury furniture. Their contributions, along with the creativity and expertise of other design professionals, played an integral role in shaping the unique identity and success of Widdicomb Furniture Company.

Range of Products

Widdicomb Furniture Company offered a wide range of luxury furniture and high-end furniture products, exemplifying their commitment to quality craftsmanship. Their collection included a variety of pieces inspired by different furniture styles, ensuring there was something to suit every taste and preference.

Product Category Description
Bedroom Furniture A collection of beautifully designed bed frames, dressers, and nightstands, crafted with precision and attention to detail. Widdicomb Furniture Company was particularly renowned for its spindle bed frames, which added an elegant touch to any bedroom.
Chiffoniers Stylish and functional, Widdicomb’s chiffoniers provided ample storage space for clothing and accessories, combining practicality with artistic flair.
Wardrobes Elegant wardrobes crafted from a variety of quality woods, offering both functionality and timeless beauty. These pieces were designed to elevate any interior space.
Mirrors Exquisite mirrors that added a touch of sophistication to any room, reflecting both light and style. Widdicomb Furniture Company’s mirrors were meticulously crafted to complement their diverse furniture offerings.

Widdicomb Furniture Company utilized a wide range of wood materials, including oak, ash, birch, maple, mahogany, and walnut. Each piece was carefully crafted to meet the highest standards of quality, ensuring longevity and durability.

An example of the exquisite craftsmanship and attention to detail found in Widdicomb Furniture Company’s products.

Legacy of Widdicomb Furniture Company

The legacy of Widdicomb Furniture Company is deeply rooted in its contributions to the American furniture industry and its reputation for producing high-quality, luxury furniture. Over the years, many pieces of Widdicomb furniture have become coveted items in prestigious collections, such as the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum. This recognition showcases the enduring appeal and historical significance of the company’s creations.

Notably, the archive of the Widdicomb Furniture Company is held in the esteemed Grand Rapids Public Library collection. This archive stands as an enduring testament to the company’s rich heritage and historical value within the furniture industry.

Although the original Widdicomb Furniture Company ceased operations in 2002, its name and manufacturing rights were acquired by Stickley. Through this acquisition, the John Widdicomb Collection continues to be offered, allowing furniture enthusiasts to experience the timeless craftsmanship and design excellence associated with the Widdicomb brand.

Legacy of Widdicomb Furniture Company
Contributions to the American furniture industry
Reputation for producing high-quality, luxury furniture
Pieces featured in prestigious collections
Widdicomb Furniture Company archive held in Grand Rapids Public Library collection
Name and manufacturing rights acquired by Stickley
Continuation of the John Widdicomb Collection

Establishment of Widdicomb Brothers & Richards

After the dissolution of the original Widdicomb Furniture Company during the Civil War, the oldest sons of George Widdicomb opened a small furniture shop in 1864. The other two brothers joined them after the war ended. In 1868, the shop grew significantly and was moved to a new location in Grand Rapids. On January 1, 1869, T.F. Richards joined the business, and the company was renamed Widdicomb Bros. & Richards. The business continued to expand, and in 1873, it was officially incorporated as the Widdicomb Furniture Company.

Timeline of Widdicomb Brothers & Richards:

Year Event
1864 Oldest sons of George Widdicomb open a small furniture shop
1868 Shop moves to a new location in Grand Rapids
January 1, 1869 T.F. Richards joins the business and company is renamed Widdicomb Bros. & Richards
1873 Official incorporation as the Widdicomb Furniture Company

[Enter any additional relevant information about the establishment and early years of Widdicomb Brothers & Richards]

“The establishment of Widdicomb Bros. & Richards marked a significant turning point in the company’s history. With the combined efforts and expertise of the Widdicomb brothers and T.F. Richards, the business experienced rapid growth and transformation. This expansion laid the foundation for the future success of the company as it emerged as a prominent name in the antique furniture industry.”

Acquisition and Merger

In 1915, the Widdicomb Furniture Company underwent a significant change when it was acquired by Joseph Griswold Sr. and Godfrey von Platen. This acquisition marked a new chapter in the company’s history and set the stage for future developments.

Fast forward to 1950, when Widdicomb Furniture Company merged with Mueller Furniture Corporation, creating the Widdicomb-Mueller Corporation. This merger aimed to combine the strengths and resources of both companies to further enhance their presence in the luxury furniture market.

However, in the following years, Mueller Furniture Corporation decided to split from Widdicomb, leading to new ownership and strategic moves. In 1970, the John Widdicomb Company acquired the Widdicomb Furniture Co. name, allowing the legacy of Widdicomb Furniture Company to continue under a new entity.

This acquisition and subsequent merger were pivotal moments for Widdicomb Furniture Company, shaping its trajectory and contributing to its reputation as a manufacturer of exquisite antique and luxury furniture.

Design Influence by T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings

From 1943 to 1956, T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings made significant contributions to the Widdicomb Furniture Company as a designer. Known for his modern furniture designs, Robsjohn-Gibbings brought a fresh perspective to the company’s portfolio. Influenced by Scandinavian design principles, his creations featured clean lines, functional forms, and a minimalist aesthetic.

Robsjohn-Gibbings’ work played a crucial role in shaping Widdicomb Furniture Company’s reputation for producing unique and innovative furniture. His designs not only reflected the contemporary design trends of the time but also showcased his exceptional craftsmanship and attention to detail.

“Good design is a question of honesty, especially as regards materials. If you use any material, it must be legitimate, it must belong to the object.” – T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings

The influence of Robsjohn-Gibbings can be seen in the timeless elegance and sophistication of Widdicomb Furniture Company’s pieces. By combining form and function, he created furniture that embraced simplicity without compromising on visual appeal.

Through his innovative approach, Robsjohn-Gibbings contributed to the enduring legacy of Widdicomb Furniture Company, establishing it as a leading player in the world of antique, luxury, and high-end furniture.

Design Influence by T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings Highlights
Clean lines and functional forms Embracing simplicity without compromising on functionality
Minimalist aesthetic Showcasing elegance through understated design
Innovative approach Contributing to the enduring legacy of Widdicomb Furniture Company

Design Influence by George Nakashima

George Nakashima, a renowned furniture designer, made a significant impact during his time at Widdicomb Furniture Company in the 1950s to early 1960s. Nakashima’s innovative designs and artistic approach transformed the company’s furniture offerings, further solidifying its reputation for producing custom and designer pieces.

Nakashima’s notable contributions include the creation of the “Origin Group” collection, inspired by Japanese and Shaker furniture traditions. These pieces showcased his deep appreciation for the natural beauty of wood and incorporated unique joinery techniques that elevated the craftsmanship of Widdicomb’s products.

“The straight lines of Shaker design and the simplicity of Japanese aesthetics have influenced my work throughout my career. I strive to bring harmony between the natural material and the human spirit.” – George Nakashima

Nakashima’s designs brought a distinct aesthetic to Widdicomb Furniture Company, blending elements of traditional craftsmanship with modern sensibilities. His work emphasized the beauty and authenticity of the materials, creating furniture pieces that resonated with luxury and high-end furniture enthusiasts.

Notable Designs by George Nakashima

Design Description
Nakashima’s “Conoid Chair,” a signature piece known for its organic form and sculptural presence, exuding both elegance and comfort. This chair exemplifies his mastery of woodworking techniques and his ability to showcase the natural beauty of the wood grain.
The “Minguren” coffee table, characterized by its live-edge tabletop and intricate butterfly joinery, highlights Nakashima’s skill in combining traditional and contemporary design elements.
Nakashima’s “Straight Chair” showcases his pursuit of simplicity and functionality. The clean lines and streamlined form of this chair make it a timeless addition to any interior space.

George Nakashima’s designs have become highly sought after by collectors and enthusiasts of antique and luxury furniture. His work for Widdicomb Furniture Company continues to inspire contemporary designers and remains an integral part of the company’s heritage.

End of Widdicomb Furniture Company

Unfortunately, in 2002, the Widdicomb Furniture Company, renowned for its production of high-quality and luxury furniture, closed its doors. This closure marked the end of an era for the company, which had a long history of crafting exquisite antique and high-end furniture. The closure was a significant loss for the industry and left a void in the luxury furniture market.

Despite the closure, the legacy of Widdicomb Furniture Company continues to live on through the acquisition of the design and manufacturing rights for the John Widdicomb Collection by Stickley in August 2002. Stickley, a leading furniture brand committed to preserving traditional craftsmanship, has ensured that the exceptional quality and timeless elegance associated with Widdicomb furniture are still available to discerning customers.

“Preserving the legacy of Widdicomb Furniture Company, Stickley proudly presents the John Widdicomb Collection, showcasing the finest craftsmanship and timeless designs.”

Under the guidance of Stickley, the John Widdicomb Collection has continued to offer a curated selection of exquisite luxury furniture pieces. These heirloom-quality creations embody the meticulous craftsmanship and attention to detail that defined Widdicomb Furniture Company. Each piece showcases the artistry of the past while seamlessly integrating with modern interiors, making them cherished additions to any home or space.

“The John Widdicomb Collection by Stickley embodies the essence of luxury and sophistication, delivering exceptional furniture pieces that stand the test of time.”

With a commitment to upholding the standards set by Widdicomb Furniture Company, Stickley ensures that the legacy of this renowned manufacturer lives on. By combining their expertise in fine craftsmanship and years of experience in the industry, Stickley carries forward the tradition of producing exceptional luxury furniture that captures the essence of Widdicomb’s celebrated designs.

Widdicomb Furniture Company Stickley
Founded in 1858 Continuing the legacy
Specialized in antique and luxury furniture Preserving fine craftsmanship
Closed in 2002 Reviving the John Widdicomb Collection
Award-winning designs Timeless elegance
Shaped the American furniture industry Carrying forward a legacy

Notable Employees at Widdicomb Furniture Company

Throughout its existence, Widdicomb Furniture Company was fortunate to have had several notable employees who made significant contributions to the company’s success and reputation in the industry. These individuals played a pivotal role in shaping the unique identity and craftsmanship that defined Widdicomb Furniture Company.

One of the founding members of the company, William Widdicomb, served as its President until his retirement in 1883. His leadership and vision guided the company through its early years, establishing a solid foundation for growth and success in the luxury furniture market. Under his guidance, Widdicomb Furniture Company gained recognition for its commitment to exceptional craftsmanship and attention to detail.

In addition to William Widdicomb, several talented designers lent their skills to the company, leaving a lasting impact on its design legacy. Ralph H. Widdicombe, Stanley Green, and Chad Womack are among the notable designers who worked at Widdicomb Furniture Company. Their innovative designs and keen eye for detail contributed to the company’s reputation for producing high-end, antique, and luxury furniture.

“The talent and dedication of our employees are the driving forces behind the remarkable furniture that emerges from our workshops. Each member of our team brings a unique perspective and skillset, which collectively contribute to our continued success as a leader in the industry.” – Widdicomb Furniture Company

The expertise and craftsmanship of these employees have not only shaped the legacy of Widdicomb Furniture Company but have also left an indelible mark on the world of antique and luxury furniture. Their dedication to creating exquisite pieces that stand the test of time is a testament to the company’s commitment to excellence.

Key Takeaways

  • William Widdicomb, one of the founding members, served as President until his retirement in 1883.
  • Ralph H. Widdicombe, Stanley Green, and Chad Womack were notable designers at Widdicomb Furniture Company.
  • Their expertise and attention to detail contributed to the company’s reputation for producing high-end, antique, and luxury furniture.
Name Role Contribution
William Widdicomb President Guided the company’s growth and established a foundation for success.
Ralph H. Widdicombe Designer Contributed innovative design concepts and meticulous attention to detail.
Stanley Green Designer Created unique and timeless furniture pieces.
Chad Womack Designer Brought a fresh perspective and innovative ideas to the company’s designs.

Notable Acquisitions by John Widdicomb Co.

Over the years, the John Widdicomb Co. made several notable acquisitions to expand its business and enhance its range of products and offerings. These acquisitions played a crucial role in the growth and development of the company, further solidifying its position in the market for antique, luxury, and high-end furniture.

In 1950, the John Widdicomb Co. acquired the William A. Berkey Furniture Co., a renowned manufacturer of fine furniture. This strategic acquisition allowed John Widdicomb Co. to broaden its range of products and reach a wider customer base. With the addition of the William A. Berkey Furniture Co.’s expertise and designs, the company was able to offer a more extensive selection of high-quality antique and luxury furniture.

The following year, in 1951, the John Widdicomb Co. expanded its portfolio with the acquisition of Vander Ley Brothers Co. This acquisition enabled the company to further diversify its product offerings by incorporating Vander Ley Brothers Co.’s expertise in crafting unique and stylish furniture pieces. The acquisition of Vander Ley Brothers Co. contributed to the John Widdicomb Co.’s reputation for producing high-end and custom furniture.

In 1956, the John Widdicomb Co. made another significant acquisition by acquiring the Grand Rapids Bookcase and Chair Co. This acquisition allowed the company to expand its manufacturing capabilities and product lines. The Grand Rapids Bookcase and Chair Co. was known for its elegant and well-crafted furniture, which aligned perfectly with John Widdicomb Co.’s commitment to producing luxury and high-end furniture.

These strategic acquisitions by the John Widdicomb Co. not only expanded its business and product offerings but also strengthened its position in the market for antique, luxury, and high-end furniture. The company’s ability to acquire and integrate other reputable furniture manufacturers allowed it to remain at the forefront of the industry, offering customers a wide range of exquisite and finely crafted furniture pieces.

Transition and Ownership Changes

The ownership of John Widdicomb Co. has undergone several changes throughout its history. These transitions have shaped the direction and management of the company, contributing to its growth and development over time. Let’s explore the notable ownership changes that Widdicomb Furniture Company experienced.

J. Fred Lyon and John L. Stuart

In 1929, J. Fred Lyon acquired controlling interest in the company, while John L. Stuart held a minority interest. Stuart eventually became the major stockholder and chairman of the board, playing a significant role in the company’s operations and decision-making.

Management Buy-Out and Furniture Corporation of America

In 1969, a management buy-out occurred, resulting in a change in ownership. The company was purchased by the Furniture Corporation of America, bringing a new perspective and expertise to the management team. This acquisition marked a turning point in the company’s journey.

Mike Greengard and Grand Rapids Furniture Co.

Another ownership change took place in 1986 when Mike Greengard and a group of investors acquired John Widdicomb Co. This change in ownership brought fresh ideas and strategies to the table, further strengthening the company’s position in the market.

In 1996, the journey continued with yet another transition as Grand Rapids Furniture Co. purchased John Widdicomb Co. This change in ownership paved the way for new collaborative opportunities and synergies within the industry.

Overall, the transition and ownership changes that Widdicomb Furniture Company experienced reflect the dynamic nature of the business world. These shifts in ownership brought new perspectives, strategies, and growth opportunities, contributing to the company’s enduring legacy in the world of antique, luxury, and high-end furniture.

Recent Developments

In recent years, the Widdicomb Furniture Company has experienced significant developments, solidifying its reputation in the antique and luxury furniture industry.

Exclusive Licensing Agreement with the Victoria & Albert Museum

In 1998, the John Widdicomb Co. signed an exclusive licensing agreement with the prestigious Victoria & Albert Museum in London, England. This partnership allowed the company to produce exquisite furniture pieces inspired by the museum’s renowned collection. Drawing inspiration from historical designs and incorporating their own craftsmanship, Widdicomb created unique, high-end furniture that reflected the elegance and timeless appeal of antique furniture.

Acquisition and Transition to Stickley

In 2002, the John Widdicomb Co. faced a significant change as it closed its doors. However, its assets were acquired by L & J.G. Stickley, a distinguished name in the furniture industry. The acquisition ensured the continuation of the Widdicomb legacy, with the production of John Widdicomb furniture transitioning to Stickley’s state-of-the-art manufacturing plant in Manlius, New York. Stickley’s dedication to quality and craftsmanship aligned with Widdicomb’s legacy, ensuring the preservation of the brand’s reputation for luxury and high-end furniture.

“The acquisition of the John Widdicomb Co. by Stickley is a testament to the enduring appeal of Widdicomb’s antique and luxury furniture designs. It allows us to continue producing exceptional pieces that capture the essence of Widdicomb’s craftsmanship and design heritage,” said a representative from Stickley.

Year Development
1998 Exclusive licensing agreement with the Victoria & Albert Museum
2002 Acquired by L & J.G. Stickley

Conclusion

The Widdicomb Furniture Company has left an indelible mark on the American furniture industry. Renowned for its production of high-quality, luxury furniture, this storied company showcased exceptional craftsmanship and unique designs. While the original company may no longer be operational, its legacy lives on through the John Widdicomb Collection, which is now crafted by Stickley.

Notable designers such as T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings and George Nakashima contributed to Widdicomb’s reputation for producing exquisite, custom, and designer furniture. Their innovative designs added a distinct aesthetic to the company’s offerings, further solidifying its standing in the industry. Additionally, the acquisition of other furniture companies, such as the William A. Berkey Furniture Co. and Vander Ley Brothers Co., helped Widdicomb expand its range of products and offerings.

The impact of the Widdicomb Furniture Company on the furniture world is undeniable. Recognized for its antique, luxury, and high-end furniture, Widdicomb set the benchmark for excellence in craftsmanship and design. Although the company may have closed its doors, its reputation as a pioneer in the American furniture industry endures. The Widdicomb Furniture Company will always be remembered for its iconic creations and its unwavering commitment to quality.

FAQ

What is the history of Widdicomb Furniture Company?

The Widdicomb Furniture Company was founded in 1858 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It began as a cabinet shop and grew into a renowned manufacturer of high-quality antique and fine furniture. The company had a long history of producing luxury, high-end furniture known for its craftsmanship and distinctive designs.

Who were some notable designers at Widdicomb Furniture Company?

T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings, known for his modern furniture designs, served as a designer for Widdicomb from 1943 to 1956. George Nakashima, renowned for his “Origin Collection” pieces, also worked for Widdicomb in the 1950s to early 1960s.

What range of products did Widdicomb Furniture Company offer?

Widdicomb Furniture Company offered a wide range of products, including bed frames, bedroom furniture, chiffoniers, nightstands, wardrobes, and mirrors, specializing in high-quality furniture made from various woods like oak, ash, birch, maple, mahogany, and walnut.

What is the legacy of Widdicomb Furniture Company?

Widdicomb Furniture Company’s legacy includes its contributions to the American furniture industry and its reputation for producing high-quality, luxury furniture. Many pieces can be found in prestigious collections, such as the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum.

When was Widdicomb Brothers & Richards established?

Widdicomb Brothers & Richards was established in 1873 after the Widdicomb Furniture Company dissolved during the Civil War and the sons of George Widdicomb opened a small furniture shop.

Did Widdicomb Furniture Company go through any acquisitions or mergers?

Yes, in 1915, the company was purchased by Joseph Griswold Sr. and Godfrey von Platen. It later merged with Mueller Furniture Corporation, forming Widdicomb-Mueller Corporation. However, Mueller later split from Widdicomb, and in 1970, the Widdicomb Furniture Co. name was acquired by John Widdicomb Company.

What is the design influence of T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings at Widdicomb Furniture Company?

T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings, a designer at Widdicomb from 1943 to 1956, was known for his modern furniture designs, influenced by Scandinavian design principles. His work helped shape the company’s reputation for producing unique and innovative furniture.

What is the design influence of George Nakashima at Widdicomb Furniture Company?

George Nakashima, who worked for Widdicomb in the 1950s to early 1960s, created the “Origin Collection” inspired by Japanese and Shaker furniture. His work emphasized the natural beauty of wood and incorporated unique joinery techniques.

What happened to Widdicomb Furniture Company?

Widdicomb Furniture Company went out of business in 2002. However, the rights to the John Widdicomb Collection were acquired by Stickley, allowing the collection to continue being offered.

Who were some notable employees at Widdicomb Furniture Company?

Notable employees include William Widdicomb, who served as the company’s President, and designers Ralph H. Widdicombe, Stanley Green, and Chad Womack, who made significant contributions to the company’s design legacy.

Did John Widdicomb Co. make any notable acquisitions?

Yes, John Widdicomb Co. made several acquisitions to expand its business, including the William A. Berkey Furniture Co., Vander Ley Brothers Co., and the Grand Rapids Bookcase and Chair Co.

How did the ownership of John Widdicomb Co. change over the years?

In 1929, J. Fred Lyon purchased controlling interest in the company, followed by John L. Stuart. Stuart eventually became the major stockholder and chairman of the board. Ownership changed through a management buy-out in 1969 and subsequent acquisitions in 1986 and 1996.

Have there been any recent developments related to Widdicomb Furniture Company?

In 1998, John Widdicomb Co. signed an exclusive licensing agreement with the Victoria & Albert Museum, allowing the company to produce furniture inspired by the museum’s collection. In 2002, the company’s assets were acquired by L & J.G. Stickley.

What is the conclusion regarding Widdicomb Furniture Company?

While Widdicomb Furniture Company closed its doors in 2002, it left a lasting impact on the furniture industry with its high-quality, luxury designs. The John Widdicomb Collection continues to be produced by Stickley, preserving the legacy of Widdicomb’s craftsmanship and design.

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