Modern furniture may be inexpensive, but it surely isn’t durable. Some seems downright flimsy and too delicate to actually use. What happened to the solid reliability of real furniture? Remember when you could sit on a chair and know that it would support you without even thinking about it; when you could set the table for a banquet and know it would not collapse?
Once World War II was over, people were very busy procreating… Houses started springing up all over the place. Grandma, Grandpa, Mom and Dad just didn’t have the resources to give or bequeath furniture to all the young folks starting out on lives of their own.
Industry was quick to pick up on the fact; they knew what to do. Quick as a wink they stepped up manufacturing to fill the need. But demand kept growing; they needed more and more. They developed newer, faster techniques to do away with time-consuming screws, glue, dowels, and clamps. They built bigger machines that could cut eight identical chair legs at one time; jigs where one man could snap together four seats in less than a minute, secure them with a nail gun and send them down the line to be upholstered.
But they wanted more and more; faster and faster; cheaper and cheaper. So they began to use wire staples to hold furniture together, but they weren’t very reliable; they needed something else. They came up with the corrugated fastener that fit in an unpowered hammer-like device. You struck between two joints and the fastener pulled it together.
We all know what happened. Furniture began to fail and fall apart. At first people tried to fix things; then the prices dropped and it was simply cheaper to replace it with something new. We grew into a consumer society that didn’t appreciate quality.
Now the pendulum has swung back. We’re wondering why were we always replacing things? Can’t they just make things better so that they last?
Actually they never stopped making exceptional things, at least not all of them. But before the internet and the World Wide Web you had to actually go and find the artisans. If you stumbled across one of the Amish Communities it was like finding a gold mine.
Stepping Back in Time
Suddenly the clock slowed down; people here took life at a livable pace. There was no rushing to meetings; no planes to catch; no sales target to meet. They just did their daily work, with humility and dedication. It pleased them that people took the time to appreciate their skills with furniture. And they could support their community by doing what they did best.
The English (non-Amish) started to come in droves; here was quality they had not experienced in their lives. This was the furniture of legend; the sort of things that had been in their grandparents’ homes.
Handcrafted by master builders; created by people that had been doing it for their whole lives, with skills passed down from generation to generation. If you only want to buy a piece of furniture one more time in your life, and you want to hand it down to your heirs, and they to theirs, you’ve finally found the right place. Stop throwing your money away. This time you are going to invest in something that will have value forever.