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morris futorian

The "Henry Ford" of the upholstered furniture industry, Morris Futorian (b.1907 d.1994) emigrated from Russia In 1923 at age 15 and, after a brief fling in Chicago's Yiddish Theater, went to work as an upholsterer in the Glabman factory. By 1935, he began hand-making upholstery at home at night and selling it by day. Inspired by a visit to a Detroit automobile assembly plant, he built a factory In New Albany, MS (naming it Stratford after the Chicago street he lived on). To speed the manufacturing process and take advantage of unskilled labor, Futorian standardized designs and broke the assembly line process down into individual operations.

To ship In record time and keep warehousing and inventory costs low, he shipped only In carload lots. By 1952, he was able to sell Stratford reclining chairs at under $99.00. By 1954, he was supporting three production and two supply factories In Mississippi and two North Carolina factories producing higher-priced BarcaLoungers. In 1964, his companies were acquired by Mohasco Industries with Futorian remaining as president until his retirement in 1981.