Hickory – Join Catawba County Museum of History’s Historian in Residence Professor Richard Eller for the fourth in a six-part series about Western North Carolina furniture at 6:00 pm on Tuesday, February 8th at Patrick Beaver Memorial Library. The series will be offered as both an in-person presentation and a virtual presentation and will be held the second Tuesday of each month through April. Each session examines a different aspect of the furniture industry in Western North Carolina and will highlight material from Professor Eller’s upcoming book Industry in the Wood – The History of Furniture in Western North Carolina.Origins Of Western North Carolina Furniture

February’s presentation covers the furniture industry in 1930’s and 1940’s. The roller coaster of the American economy made for two pivotal but very different decades in the western North Carolina furniture industry. After extravagant growth in the Roaring Twenties, the Great Depression of the 1930s bankrupted some and benefitted others, thanks to the borax furniture they produced. World War II and the boom that followed created new opportunities, new companies, and a newfound prominence for the lines being made in Hickory, Morganton, and Lenoir.

Richard Eller is a historian who focuses on Western North Carolina, its people and traditions in an effort to understand the role the area has played in creating its own vibrant and unique culture. He has written books on Piedmont Airlines, the 1944 Polio Epidemic and is writing an upcoming volume on the western North Carolina furniture industry. Professor Eller has also written articles about local subjects for Foothills Digest, the Hickory Daily Record, and Focus. His recent works include Hickory Then & Now, Hickory: A Complete History and a documentary film and book about the 1964 Ridgeview High School Panthers football team entitled Untouchable: The Perfect Season of the 1964 Ridgeview High Panthers.

This presentation is available in an in-person and a virtual format. Registration is required to receive the Zoom link to the virtual session. To register for the virtual session, call 828-304-0050 or sign up online at www.hickorync.gov/calendar/events/category/library/.

Registration is not required for in-person attendance; however, it is limited to 45 people first come, first served. For more information, call 828-304-0500. Patrick Beaver Memorial Library is located at 375 3rd Street NE on the SALT Block. All library programs are free and open to the public.
Richard Eller