The American Furniture Hall of Fame Foundation (AFHFA), based in High Point, NC, has begun implementing its plans to research, collect and preserve cultural, economic and artistic history of American furniture companies.
The four initiatives are: expansion of the oral history and book publishing programs; preservation of memorabilia; creation of a website to provide original information; and creation of a comprehensive history and timeline, said Jeff Cook, president of the Foundation.
The Foundation has conducted nearly 40 oral histories of its leaders and is in the process of publishing each in a hardcover book. “It is critical that we do a call for memorabilia before it is lost,” Cook said. “This will be a guided request for specific materials or digital scans of company history books, photographs, advertising and marketing materials, etc. for use by researchers and visitors to our website. Separately, the Foundation will also unroll a campaign for companies to preserve their own histories. Information posted on the website will have historic integrity prepared by professional historians, but will also contain stories.
“As an industry, we do not have a comprehensive written history. We are in discussions to commission this research in order to develop a timeline that includes innovations and developments in retail, manufacturing and marketing,” he said. “We hope to illustrate this history with our new found memorabilia. All of this will then be shared with the industry and public in a historically credible exhibit as well as on our website. We are at a pivotal point. We must preserve our histories and the stories of our legends now before they slip away from us forever.”