four new chairs
I found an ad on craigslist.ca for four solid wood chairs. I like the lines of the chairs and the fabric on the seats…well I figured I could change that. I called the seller to confirm that the four chairs were $20 and not $20 each. Success! I picked them up on Saturday and saw printing on the underside of the seat, and low and behold they were made in Hanover Ontario (close to where my husband grew up).
The company name on the underside of the chairs is Knechtel Furniture Ltd. I tried to do some research to determine when they would have been built but can’t find anything for sure. Here is some information I found on the Bruce County Museum website.
[Daniel] Knechtel expanded the operations again in 1884, building a brick factory in Hanover. Over the next three decades, Daniel’s business acumen and initiative made the firm one of the largest furniture factories in the Dominion.
. . .
On December 20, 1900, the main plant at Hanover burned with a loss of $100,000 and 250 jobs. With the aid of a $10,000 grant from the village, the present four-story factory was opened on the old site on December 20, 1901. By 1905 Knechtel furniture – from tables to hall racks – was being distributed from Cape Breton to Vancouver.
. . .
During the Great Depression, in 1934 and 1936 respectively, the Walkerton and Southampton factories were closed, as was the warehouse in Winnipeg. The Walkerton plant was purchased by Bogdon and Gross and the Southampton plant by Hepworth Manufacturing Company. Business was confined to the two Hanover plants. Since the reorganization of the 1930’s the firm has been known as Knechtels Ltd.
After Daniel Knechtel passed away at the ripe old age of 92 in 1936, his son J.S. succeeded him as president. He had only held the position for two years when he also died in 1938. His son Karl took over the company at that time until his sudden death in 1972.
Knechtel Furniture Company was the third oldest furniture company in Canada.
Knechtel Furniture Company was a stepping-stone for many in the furniture industry in Bruce County. Many employees from Knechtels moved elsewhere and started their own furniture manufacturing companies.
I’m tempted to assume that these chairs were built prior to the 1930’s since the underside of the chair reads “Knechtel Furniture Ltd.” not Knechtels Ltd. But maybe I’m wrong since I’m quite sure the company did make furniture until the 1980’s. I’m going to try to do more research to see what else I find unless anyone is able to provide me with more information.
I have fabric I bought when our local store was going out of business, it is white suede. The underside of the chair says the fabric was originally white so conveniently I have changed the seat fabric over to the white and it looks much better.
Yah for dining room chairs! Out with the cheap folding plastic chairs and in with the ‘new to us’ solid wood chairs!