From local historian and writer Richard Eller, Well-Crafted is a well-researched and sourced 658-page tome that puts the furniture-making industry under the microscope. Through a deep dive into research and recent personal interviews, Eller weaves a tale of an industry that thrived on the work of its labor force and the labor force that appreciated the opportunity.
Until the industry relocated much of its manufacturing capability to offshore countries, local families often worked for decades for those families who owned these furniture factories. And they turned out marvelous products in wood and other materials that were affordable to the workforce and to people all over the United States.
Throughout the book, Eller tells the stories of the owners and the workers and how a symbiotic relationship that benefited both turned bad when employees became liabilities instead of assets. Moreover, Eller spotlights those businesses that also suffered when they decided that American-made furniture was worth more than just a profit margin; it is a way of life.
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