York renaissance men crafted Pennsylvania Furniture’s fine bedroom suites
Pennsylvania Furniture Co.’s William Henry Hubley is shown in this newspaper clipping from a York County Heritage Trust file preparing a dresser for a coat of varnish. The West York-based fine furniture manufacturer operated for about 70 years after its founding in the 1890s. By 1949, the company had manufactured more than 100,000 bedroom suites. Background posts: These antiques bear the York, Pa.-made Pennsylvania Furniture Co. label and Red Lion’s Ebert Furniture: From bedroom suites to gunstocks and Bethlehem Furniture Co. woodworker carved JFK statue.
Pennsylvania Furniture Co.’s fine woodworking continues to intrigue local folks and those with the long-defunct company’s bedroom suites around the world.
Who made this wonderful furniture?
I found a 1949 newspaper clipping about a Renaissance man, William Henry Hubley, who then typified York County craftsmen.
Here’s what the article said about the wordworker:
The 75-year-old Hubley had worked for Pennsylvania Furniture for 47 years and was tagged as their “dean.” He had missed only about 10 days of work in his tenure and could not recall being late for work.
He regularly attended York Symphony Orchestra concerts and avidly read newspapers, to keep up with world happenings. He enjoyed church concerts and regularly listened to “better musical programs” on the radio.
“The dean, whom everyone familiarly called ‘Willie,’ would like to stay on the job so long as he is physically able,” the newspaper reported.
An accompanying photograph showed Hubley, clad in bib overalls, one hand on a piece of fine furniture.
That dresser, no doubt, sits in a bedroom somewhere today.