Thursday, May 15, 2014

We used to make things in this country. #152: The Honderich Furniture Company, Milverton, Ontario



I photographed this "Red Seal" cedar chest in a thrift store recently. It was made by the Honderich Furniture Company.

Christian R. Honderich and August Eidt founded the H.E. Furniture Company in Milverton, Ontario in 1911.  In 1917, they began to manufacture cedar chests.  The also made desks, book cases, coffee tables, and dining room suites.  The company officially became the Honderich Furniture Company in 1926.  It was sold to Messrs. Dow and Kirkham in 1967, who in turn sold it to Electrohome in 1969. Electrohome went under in the 1980's.  As for the town of Milverton, it's gone too, amalgamated in 1998 into Perth East township.
1941

19 comments:

debbiedoesit said...

We have a cedar chest made in Milverton, Ont with the actual red seal, not a burned in seal. Wondered what the age of it would be......

Unknown said...

Just found a red seal cedar chest, wondering how to find out how old it is. Thanks.

Unknown said...

My Grandfather worked there and we have some examples

Nothing is left of the company of closed in the early 70's . we use to go play in the remnants of the building until it wa torn down

Anonymous said...

I have a kitchen aide cupboard with a roll down front and a flour dispenser.
It was made by the H.E. Furniture co.
What age is it?

The Duke said...

I'm guessing it's older than you. Seriously, we're not experts. And were you never taught to say "please"?

Anonymous said...

Hello,
Today I had a locksmith unlock a cedar chest, which revealed a burnt in emblem "Honderich Furniture Co Limited"... accompanied by 'red seal' cedar chest. Is there any way of revealing the age and approximate value of this treasure? I'm excited and thank you in advance for any information...

The Duke said...

Sorry. All I know about the company is what you read in the post. You'd need access to old catalogues to date the piece, and they're usually up for sale at exorbitant prices on eBay or locked up in local museum archives. Still, enjoy your cedar chest, knowing they don't make them like that anymore.

Kelly said...

It's kind of neat to learn that my great aunt's cedar chest, which I inherited, is 91-100 years old. The metal crest that is nailed into the lid says HE Furniture Company. I had no idea it was that old. Thanks for posting about the company. Cheers to you!

Anonymous said...

Hi there I’m wondering if someone can help me I have a red seal chest as well. It has the insert. Does anyone know what the insert is made of and whether it was chemically treated?. I’ve heard different things from it’s made of asbestos to it’s chemically treated the same as a mothball which is why mine smells so badly does anyone know? If it isn’t what we would currently considered safe I would like to remove the insert which looks to be nailed in. Thank you for all your help

Unknown said...

What is the cost value of the red seal cedar chest? From milverton?
Would you be so kind to help me with this question? Please and thank you?

Unknown said...

Actually they made furniture in the original buildings until the mid 1980s.
When Electahome vlosed it Mel Boshart of Boshart Industries bought it and tore down the top three floors but kept tbe bottom floor. They still use it.
I owned a house on Pacific Ave just three houses away.

Mister G said...

Thanks for the information! Good to record this history.

Unknown said...

I recently purchased a walnut plate display case stamped honderich 1898 on the back. Perpaps might be before they formed the company

Mister G said...

Interesting. The company didn't start for another 1/4 century... The founder seems to have been born in 1856 and died in 1923. More research required!

Anonymous said...

Hi, I believe your display case is from the Amish Honderich's that were furniture makers. Christian Honderich was part of that family but obviously didn't stay in the Amish community. His son Norman Honderich ran the company until he passed away in the early 1960's. The company was taken over by his 2 daughter's. Norman's son (my Dad) was the western Canadian sales rep. When Helen and Elizabeth sold the company my Dad went to work for Electrahome until he retired. Elizabeth was an art major in university and when she started working for the company she designed a lot of the furniture.

Mister G said...

Thanks for the info!

Unknown said...

I just acquired my grandmoyhers cedar chest it still has the original paperwork (moth moth warranty)on the lid ....the craftsman ship of this chest is amazing ...from the pictures above it looks like the center one

Mister G said...

The Moth warranty would be a nice thing to post! Could you send a pic to gerald@vanwyngaarden.ca ?

Unknown said...

I have my grandmother's also. It has her name and address of her home in pencil on the inside but still beautiful. Hard to believe iys over a 100 years old.