Last week I showed off my new find, the Colonial Revival style kitchen table and chairs I discovered at a consignment shop.
But I also found a manufacturing stamp underneath the table which read "11/67. Cochrane's Bay Colony. No. 936.
Here's what it looks like:
Forgive the crappy photo/flash but remember, I was under a table, for pete's sake:
What I thought this told me was that in November of 1967 (I was a newborn!) a furniture company named Cochrane's made a style of furniture called Bay Colony and the product number was 936.
I have to tell you, I just frickin' love Google when it comes to these things. Really.
I found a registered trademark (expired) filed in 1963 for the furniture brand "Bay Colony," along with this logo:
Now, I don't have this logo on any of my kitchen furniture pieces, but perhaps they only used it in advertising and displays. At any rate, the dates lined up with what I knew about the age and style of the piece. "Bay Colony" is a great name for a furniture line with American Colonial styling.
The absolute best part of this furniture history sleuthing is without too much trouble at all, I found a great, red-white-and-blue tale of American manufacturing, and now I own a little piece of it.
Cochrane's was a furniture company located in Lincolnton, North Carolina, and began way back in the 1850's, when the Cochrane family's great-great-great-somethin' grandfather was making church pews. In 1905 they began making furnishings for homes, and by the 1930s they were selling primarily dining room furniture made out of oak, pine, and maple. The family grew the company successfully through the Depression, World War II, and the 1950s and 1960s (when my set was built).
In the 1990s, the company was sold to the Chromecraft Revington company and production was moved to China. You can still see the Cochrane name on furniture being built today, but it is made overseas.
However, the Cochrane family has recently reopened a new family-owned furniture business in Lincolnton, and is now operating under the name of Lincolnton Furniture Company, employing a lot of their former workers, and concentrating once again on high quality solid wood dining room furniture:
|Lincolnton Furniture's "Declaration" Maple Dining Set|
The only word I can think of to describe this information is "enriching." I loved this table and chair set when I purchased it, without really knowing a thing about it other than the fact it was solid (the teenage son had to put his back into getting the table in the house-- it's HEAVY) and exactly what I was looking for. Now that I know it represented one family's livelihood, I feel even better about owning it.
I felt the same way about another history investigation for my birch kitchen cupboards, which were manufactured by another American company, Haas Cabinet, in Sellersburg, Indiana. They are still in business, and you can read about that discovery in my blog post here.
It gives me a deep sense of place and satisfaction to know I've got manufactured items with a history and a story in the room where my family lives, eats, and spends time.