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Widdicomb Furniture Co.

Widdicomb Furniture Co. is a furniture company known for its bestselling spindle bed frames, with thousands of 19th-century households owning at least one. The company was founded in 1873 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, by the Widdicomb brothers and T.F. Richards. In 1891, Widdicomb Furniture Co. began shipping furniture throughout the United States. The majority of its business centered around furnishings for the bedroom, particularly solid wood bed frames, wardrobes and nightstands in oak, birch and maple. The style of Widdicomb pieces varied according to consumer demand. For example, in 1906 the company's catalog featured American Empire and Colonial Revival-inspired designs, while from 1900-1920, several bedroom sets from Widdicomb Furniture Co. were patterned after Georgian Revival and Italian Renaissance pieces. In 1938, the company ceased production of traditional furnishings and adopted a modern design style. In the 1940s and 50s, T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbing designed lines for Widdicomb with a Scandinavian-influenced aesthetic. For the brand's Origin Collection, legendary woodworker George Nakashima borrowed design elements from Shaker and Japanese-inspired styles for a modern eclectic look. By the mid-20th century, several other famed designers such as Frank Lloyd Wright and Jacques Grange had worked for Widdicomb Furniture. Although the company closed in 2002, many of its pieces can be viewed at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York.