A Quick Look at the Origins of Heywood-Wakefield Company

A Quick Look at the Origins of Heywood-Wakefield Company

Not to toot our own horns too much, but Heywood-Wakefield is one of the most famous and highly regarded legacy American furniture companies. Especially among those that still exist today. Though we’re best known for our innovatively stylish and simple mid-century modern furniture pieces, the origins of Heywood-Wakefield Company predate the era.

In fact, our history goes back about a century earlier than the mid-century period (generally thought of as the 1940s and 1950s, though the exact definition varies depending on whom you ask, and is sometimes said to span as broadly as 1933 to 1965). The company itself goes back around 40 years prior to the kickoff of the mid-century.

Roots of Heywood-Wakefield

Like so many hyphenated names, Heywood-Wakefield was once two separate entities that eventually joined together. Once upon a time, there were two furniture companies, primarily producing wicker and rattan pieces.

Heywood Brothers was established in 1826; Wakefield Company was founded in 1855. As the 1800s wound down and the 1900s approached, rattan and wicker furniture became increasingly en vogue. The two popular companies became major rivals.

Establishing Heywood-Wakefield

Fortunately, this rivalry didn’t lead to destruction, but rather to peace, harmony, synergy, and greater success. In 1897, Heywood Brothers and Wakefield Company merged, becoming Heywood Brothers & Wakefield Company. They acquired a few other furniture manufacturers in the ensuing years, including Washburn-Heywood Chair Company in 1916, Oregon Chair Company in 1920, and Lloyd Manufacturing Company in 1921.

In 1921, the company name was shortened to Heywood-Wakefield Company. Certainly more befitting of the streamlined furniture designs the company would become famous for as it blazed a trail through the mid-century years.

Mid-Century Modern Furniture

In the 1930s, Heywood-Wakefield truly came into its own. The company’s prominent designers took inspiration from the Art Deco movement and helped shape the look of mid-century modern furniture, as well as the broader taste of the times. Ever since, we have been an iconic part of the era, known particularly for specializing in the highest quality hand-crafted solid wood furniture.

Heywood-Wakefield Company Today

In 1992, South Beach Furniture Company purchased the rights to the Heywood-Wakefield name. Today, we meticulously reproduce the company’s most classic and beloved mid-century modern furniture pieces with unwavering dedication to the original designs and quality standards. We take the company’s legacy very seriously, and do all we can to preserve it and help it touch the lives and enliven the homes of younger generations.

Looking for beautiful solid wood furniture?

Explore the classic, stylish mid-century modern designs of Heywood-Wakefield.



Leonard Riforgiato is a successful furniture manufacturing entrepreneur, a Miami resident, and co-owner of legacy furniture company Heywood-Wakefield.

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