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American Home Furnishings Hall of Fame Publishes Three New Oral Histories

The Hall of Fame has now published 53 hardcover books and completed 66 oral interviews of industry leaders.

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The American Home Furnishings Hall of Fame Foundation has published three more books, hardcover oral histories of Hall of Fame inductees Aminy I. Audi, CEO and chairman of L. & J.G. Stickley; John Bray, president of Vanguard Furniture Company; and the late Bernard Castro, founder of Castro Convertibles. 

The Hall of Fame has now published 53 hardcover books and completed 66 extensive, professionally conducted oral interviews of industry leaders. Thirteen of those oral histories are in the process of being published as books, complete with photography.

“With each interview we gain not only proprietary original information about our industry’s leaders and their companies, we also learn about economic, manufacturing, marketing and social changes,” says Martin Ploy, president of the Foundation board of directors, and president of AICO/Amini Innovation Corp. “The varying perspectives each leader brings to significant events and time periods are fascinating. Their stories form a valuable collection that will serve the industry for years to come.”

The oral histories are also transcribed, posted on the Hall of Fame website and tagged by multiple topics. “Language changes over the years, so we have been careful to tag the oral histories using as many terms for each particular topic as possible,” Ploy says.

A professional journalist, experienced in the industry, conducts an oral history of each person inducted into the Hall of Fame or, if the inductee is deceased, a close family member. The Hall of Fame also facilitates oral histories for companies to preserve their histories as told by their leaders or employees. 

Books previously released are: Nathan S. Ancell; George Alexander Bernhardt, Sr.; John C. Bernhardt; Alvin E. Bland; Rose G. Blumkin; Douglas Brackett; E. L. Briggs; Paul H. Broyhill; David J. Brunn; Bob Bush, Sr.; Joe Carroll; Dan Hutcheson Edmonson; Wallace W. Epperson, Jr.; Bert Roy Fenn; O. William Fenn; Hassell Franklin; Joseph G. Gerard; John R. Gerken, Jr.; Charles O. Gordon; Howard G. Haas; Stella and Darrell Harris; Rawson Haverty, Sr.; Mary McKenzie Henkel; W.G. Holliman, Jr.; Clyde Hooker, Jr.; Don A. Hunziker; Leo August Jiranek; William P. Kemp, Sr.; J. Wade Kincaid; Steven M. Kincaid; Bernard B. Lane; Joanna C. Maitland; Hyman Meyers; Stephen Henry Millender; Patrick H. Norton; Kevin M. O’Connor; Stephen Knight Pond; Joseph E. Richardson II; Lawrence K. Schnadig; Gordon Segal; Irving B. Sherman; Edwin J. Shoemaker; Harley F. Shuford, Jr.; Charles R. Sligh, Jr.; Robert H. Spilman; Art Van Elslander; John B. Vaughan; Howard O. Walker; Ronald G. Wanek; and Elliott S. Wood.

In 2008, the Hall of Fame Foundation received a grant from the Furniture Foundation to digitize the transcripts and tapes of 33 previously recorded oral interviews that were in danger of being lost. These interviews, along with 20 additional new oral histories, are available online at www.homefurnishingshalloffame.com. Hardcover books cost $25 each. 

The Foundation continues to grow its oral history program and is accepting recommendations for other industry leaders whose stories need to be captured. To send suggestions or receive more information, contact lestep@furniturehalloffame.com.  

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