the Concord Magazinejan'99

The Allen Chair Company

By Anthony Dorman, Concord.

NOTE: Do you have a piece of furniture made by Allen Chair that you want to know the value of? PLEASE DO NOT write to this ezine for more info. We have NO FURTHER INFORMATION on this topic to offer. Really.

doughboy, chairs and cotsDear Concord Magazine:
I have a chair and desk marked "Allen Chair Company." The label says it was made in Concord, Massachusetts. Can you tell me anything about it?
- S. Boyle, Scranton, PA
The Allen Chair Company was founded in 1906 in what was then called Concord Junction (now West Concord). It was run by three generations of Allens (all named Charles). They employed 80 people at their height. They became Allen Chair Corporation in 1931.

The first Charles Allen built three large buildings to house the factory and steam power plant (in fact, the steam from their boilers powered the Junction's fire signal for years). At first, they made mission chairs as well as kitchen chairs. When World War I came, they made many wooden cots for the troops. Later, Windsor chairs, upholstered maple chairs and other furniture were made. The company also got into the office and school furniture business and made many thousand desks and chairs from birch and oak.

They had a reputation for high quality, strong furniture. "I remember seeing the Allen Chair name on my school room desk and chair," says a Concord resident who grew up here. "They were great: you could stand on them, jump up and down, and they didn't break. They were constructed simply and intelligently."

Allen Chair was sold in 1956 to Finley Manufacturing Company, makers of household furniture. Later, the premises were occupied by Bradford Furniture which sold furniture retail. While this company is still in operation, it no longer has its Concord location. These buildings now house a variety of businesses.

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