George Humberstone

Item

Title

George Humberstone

Position

Chairmaker

Date

April 15, 1876 to July 19, 1953

Description

Along with his two brothers, Fred and Daniel, George Humberstone was one of the employees whose families formed a core of related workers that undoubtedly influenced the workplace culture. Born in 1876, George Humberstone’s path to the furniture industry was by no means direct, for as late as 1900 he was still employed as a “farm laborer” in the Federal Census. He was first documented as an employee by 1901, when a purchase he made was recorded in the firm’s general ledger. While the precise details of how he came to work for Stickley have been lost to time, he likely followed the path of his older brother Daniel, who was working for Stickley as early as 1899.

If Stickley’s factory provided a way to get off of the farm, it was not enough for Humberstone to make a career of, for by 1910 he was employed as a grinder in an iron works. He was recorded as a machinist in the 1915 New York State census, and by 1920 was working in the automobile industry, probably for Franklin Automobile Company, a Syracuse firm with which he had a long association. He likely worked there until 1934, when the company closed. By 1938 he returned to the furniture industry and worked for L. & J.G. Stickley for about fourteen years before retiring in late 1952. Humberstone died in his home, after a short illness, on July 19, 1953.