In October 1943, after eight years working with furniture manufacturers in the Carolinas and Virginia as a sales representative of the Reliance Varnish Company and Central Glass Company, Hamilton Louden Bruce decided to try his hand at furniture manufacturing. Leasing a small building for $15.00 per month, he hired two helpers and started to manufacture canvas covered lawn chairs. Production amounted to 24 chairs a day. The company derived its name from Hamilton (Ham) and his wife, Mary (mary), therefore Hammary.
Late in 1947, Mr. Bruce dropped the lawn chair line and began to manufacture a group of occasional tables. With a briefcase full of designer's sketches, Mr. Bruce made a quick tour of Eastern retail furniture outlets and came home with $200,000 in orders... this before the first sample tables were made at the plant. In 1948, the company started producing mahogany and gum tables with leather and mahogany tops, shifting the next year to leather tops exclusively with all genuine Honduras mahogany.
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