Davis Cabinet Company History


" Quality. Quality furniture, made of solid wood. To be sold at a marketable price.
That is what I meant the name Davis Cabinet Company to stand for." Lipscomb Davis, Sr.

These words of our venerable leader introduce this short history of our firm which began in 1929. There are certainly older furniture companies ---- and obviously younger ones, but quite likely, none with a more romantic history or a more Horatio Alger-like history than ours. Davis Cabinet Company began as the dream of one man, Lipscomb "Lip" Davis, and as is the case with most dreams, this one ---- the impractical idea of building fine furniture from solid wood ---- was thought to be an impossibility. Wood, like steel and iron and most other substances, expands and contracts with climate changes. Furniture built of solid wood must of necessity rack itself to pieces through the inexorable changes of expansion and contraction. Lipscomb Davis thought otherwise. His personal philosophy might be expressed as "Anything can be accomplished if it is done correctly", and to this end he had already conceived and engineered a startling new concept of free floating construction that would allow the solid wood case construction to move at will . . . . naturally . . . and thereby avoid the stresses of climatic change. The opportunity to test the idea came dramatically in 1929 ---- but we're getting a bit ahead of our story.

While Davis Cabinet Company was formed in 1929, it really had its beginnings around the turn of the century as a sawmill located near Fifth Street on the banks of the Cumberland River. The mill produced lumber from logs rafted down the river from neighboring forests. A ready market existed for most of the high grade lumber turned out by the mill. But, in order to utilize their entire production, the enterprising mill owners formed a subsidiary business, Standard Furniture Company. Here, they manufactured primarily veneered bedroom suites and sewing machine cabinets. In 1921, Lipscomb Davis went to work for Standard. And, in five years, became plant superintendent. It was during his years as superintendent at Standard that he first formed his free floating theory of solid wood manufacture. Further, he envisioned a ready waiting market for the kind of quality and style he intended as the hallmark of his furniture. Furniture made of the finest select hard woods. In July, 1929, Mr. Davis, with the backing of several Nashville businessmen, bought out Standard Furniture Company. And began producing the kind of furniture he dreamed of. Almost immediately the economic crash of 1929 hit the nation and production was practically halted. The companies recovery was hampered by the fact that buildings and equipment were in a bad state of repair. One of the worst floods in Nashville's history had occurred in 1927. With the Cumberland cresting at 16 feet above flood level, Standard suffered extensive damage to machinery, the loss of lumber and inventory. Including a complete floor of fancy veneered furniture ready for shipment. The youthful president managed to keep his company going, however. Then, the war years interrupted furniture production when the firm directed all its efforts to the manufacture of walnut gun stocks for the army. With the return of peace, Davis Cabinet began a period of steady growth. The Davis line, as we know it today, includes Lillian Russell, Cumberland Valley, Ellesdale Manor, Legacy Collection, and custom built pieces.

©2003 Davis Cabinet Company. All Rights Reserved.
Phone: 615-244-7100     |     Fax: 615-244-7103    |    505 Crutcher Street, Nashville, Tn 37213