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Murphy Chair Company Owensboro, KY

All chairs have the original needle point chair seats

desk and chair

dining room table with 1 chair with arms and 4 without arms

 Buffet

I am unable to upload photo's Is there and E-mail address I can send the attached photos to?

Category: 
American Furniture
Condition: 
Good
Medium / Material: 
Unknown
Distinguishing marks: 
Period: 
1920's
Dimensions: 
Weight: 
History: 
Little is known about the Murphy Chair Company
For Sale: 
No
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Submitted by Anonymous (not verified)

I bought Six chairs at and auction and on the bottom of them it says Murphy chair company detriot. They are all the same and are in great shape. The wood is trigger oak. I found the sticker on the bottom when I was stripping the chairs. I would like to no more about the chair. And the year they were made the chair are in great shape..Thanks Donna Bump

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Ontario. His younger brother James F. Murphy joined the firm in 1883 which by that time was engaged in the manufacture of chairs and other upholstered furniture. At the time of its purchase by Briggs, Michael J. Murphy was the firm’s president and James F. Murphy, secretary-treasurer. The Murphy Chair Co. plant was located in Detroit on Harper Ave. at the Lake Shore & Michigan South Railroad crossing and is unrelated to the more recent Owensboro, KY firm of the same name.

 

 

Detroit Chair Factory and its successor Murphy Chair Company were major players in the transition from hand-made to factory-made furniture in America.

During the early 1830s, American manufacturers first began to use steam-powered machinery in the production of furniture. One of the first companies to experiment with this new technology was Joseph Meeks.

 

The well-established firm of Joseph Meeks & Sons of New York City was one of the first to advertise mass-produced or ready-made furniture. A broadside of 1833 illustrates large and imposing furniture cut by steam powered saws in a Pillar-and-Scroll style. Veneered with mahogany and destined for the parlors of nouveau riche capitalists, this furniture was often of an inferior quality. The mechanization of factories led to decline in quality by obscuring inferior wood with beautiful veneers, elegant paint and ornate decoration.

 

J. M. Wright, a furniture manufacturer from Oswego New York, visited fast-growing but infant cities such as Chicago, Toledo and Detroit during the early 1860s. He saw potential in such markets and in 1864 purchased land on the corner of 4th and Porter Streets in downtown Detroit, Michigan. He built a four-story showroom with a three-story workshop attached and a two-story engine and dry house. All three buildings were made of brick and furnished with the latest chair-making equipment and machinery.

The machinery was driven by a 75-horsepower steam engine and the factory was heated by steam, requiring more than 11,000 square feet of steam pipe. More than eighty workers were hired for the opening of the factory, not counting the women who wove the cane seats. These ladies were trained on-site and then allowed to take the chairs home to be finished if the supervisors deemed them to be expert enough.

The Detroit Chair Factory was such a successful enterprise that it was soon called “a model institution”. The principal market for furniture had shifted to the West and as it did, Detroit was prepared for success. The abundance of native lumber, the proximity to railways and a growing population were important ingredients in the success of the Detroit Chair Factory.

 

 

When Detroit Chair Factory finally closed it doors in 1877, Michael J. Murphy moved into the facility at the corner of 4th and Porter, and added the manufacture of chairs to his already-established firm. Murphy had previously purchased the business of C. H. Dunks, who had manufactured bed springs on Griswold Street.

In 1885 Murphy’s business had increased so much that he found it necessary to expand again. He built a new factory on fourteen acres near Russell Street, where he employed approximately 800 skilled laborers in a four-story brick facility. In 1899, the company was re-incorporated as Murphy Chair Company.

When the sons of Joseph Meeks first opened the door to the use of mass production techniques for furniture, they started a new chapter in the history of American furniture.

References:

“The Meeks Cabinetmaking Firm in New York City: Part I, 1797-1835”, by Jodi Pollack, Antiques Magazine, May 2002

“Chairs Lead Mechanization”, by Robert Bishop, Antique Monthly, April 1973

M. J. Murphy & Company Moved Into Detroit Facility

Detroit Chair Factory Established in 1864

Joseph Meeks & Sons of New York City Pioneered Mass-Produced Furniture

Here’s the story;

Old Bar Stool, manufactured by the Murphy Chair Company, Detroit, Michigan. The label is under the seat and is still readable. The president of the Murphy Chair Co., Michael J. Murphy, was the first Chamber of Commerce president for Detroit, Michigan in 1903. The company dates of operation are from the late 1800's to the early 1900's.

Murphy Chair Co.

 

Murphy was a continuation of the firm of C.H. Dunks, an early Detroit manufacturer of bed springs. It was purchased in 1872 by Michael J. Murphy, a Canadian originally born in Sarnia,

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Ontario. His younger brother James F. Murphy joined the firm in 1883 which by that time was engaged in the manufacture of chairs and other upholstered furniture. At the time of its purchase by Briggs, Michael J. Murphy was the firm’s president and James F. Murphy, secretary-treasurer. The Murphy Chair Co. plant was located in Detroit on Harper Ave. at the Lake Shore & Michigan South Railroad crossing and is unrelated to the more recent Owensboro, KY firm of the same name.

 

 

Detroit Chair Factory and its successor Murphy Chair Company were major players in the transition from hand-made to factory-made furniture in America.

During the early 1830s, American manufacturers first began to use steam-powered machinery in the production of furniture. One of the first companies to experiment with this new technology was Joseph Meeks.

 

The well-established firm of Joseph Meeks & Sons of New York City was one of the first to advertise mass-produced or ready-made furniture. A broadside of 1833 illustrates large and imposing furniture cut by steam powered saws in a Pillar-and-Scroll style. Veneered with mahogany and destined for the parlors of nouveau riche capitalists, this furniture was often of an inferior quality. The mechanization of factories led to decline in quality by obscuring inferior wood with beautiful veneers, elegant paint and ornate decoration.

 

J. M. Wright, a furniture manufacturer from Oswego New York, visited fast-growing but infant cities such as Chicago, Toledo and Detroit during the early 1860s. He saw potential in such markets and in 1864 purchased land on the corner of 4th and Porter Streets in downtown Detroit, Michigan. He built a four-story showroom with a three-story workshop attached and a two-story engine and dry house. All three buildings were made of brick and furnished with the latest chair-making equipment and machinery.

The machinery was driven by a 75-horsepower steam engine and the factory was heated by steam, requiring more than 11,000 square feet of steam pipe. More than eighty workers were hired for the opening of the factory, not counting the women who wove the cane seats. These ladies were trained on-site and then allowed to take the chairs home to be finished if the supervisors deemed them to be expert enough.

The Detroit Chair Factory was such a successful enterprise that it was soon called “a model institution”. The principal market for furniture had shifted to the West and as it did, Detroit was prepared for success. The abundance of native lumber, the proximity to railways and a growing population were important ingredients in the success of the Detroit Chair Factory.

 

 

When Detroit Chair Factory finally closed it doors in 1877, Michael J. Murphy moved into the facility at the corner of 4th and Porter, and added the manufacture of chairs to his already-established firm. Murphy had previously purchased the business of C. H. Dunks, who had manufactured bed springs on Griswold Street.

In 1885 Murphy’s business had increased so much that he found it necessary to expand again. He built a new factory on fourteen acres near Russell Street, where he employed approximately 800 skilled laborers in a four-story brick facility. In 1899, the company was re-incorporated as Murphy Chair Company.

When the sons of Joseph Meeks first opened the door to the use of mass production techniques for furniture, they started a new chapter in the history of American furniture.

References:

“The Meeks Cabinetmaking Firm in New York City: Part I, 1797-1835”, by Jodi Pollack, Antiques Magazine, May 2002

“Chairs Lead Mechanization”, by Robert Bishop, Antique Monthly, April 1973

M. J. Murphy & Company Moved Into Detroit Facility

Detroit Chair Factory Established in 1864

Joseph Meeks & Sons of New York City Pioneered Mass-Produced Furniture

Here’s the story;

Old Bar Stool, manufactured by the Murphy Chair Company, Detroit, Michigan. The label is under the seat and is still readable. The president of the Murphy Chair Co., Michael J. Murphy, was the first Chamber of Commerce president for Detroit, Michigan in 1903. The company dates of operation are from the late 1800's to the early 1900's.

Murphy Chair Co.

 

Murphy was a continuation of the firm of C.H. Dunks, an early Detroit manufacturer of bed springs. It was purchased in 1872 by Michael J. Murphy, a Canadian originally born in Sarnia,

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I am curious to know if there is a way to get chairs made by the murphy chair company repaired? I have the table and chairs that my grandfather purchased for his parents. The chairs say Murphy Chair company of Det. Mich chair #122

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