Torrans Manufacturing Company, Texas USA
Retro Furniture Store offers a wide selection of retro and classic furniture designs by Torrans Furniture Mfg. Company. Torrans Mfg. offers timeless designs that are "Just like mom used to have" including metal dining sets, gliders and retro picnic coolers. Torrans unique history starts over 100 years ago when the company first opened. Since that time they have remained open and have manufactured furniture as well as many other products. Today Torrans Mfg. offers retro styled metal chairs that utilize the exact designs used many moons ago. No matter what your furniture need may be, The Retro Furniture Store is here to help, contact us today. Here is the official Torrans story:
Yesterday and Today
Torrans Manufacturing Company was established in the northeast Texas river port town of Jefferson by my great-great-grandfather, William P. Torrans, in 1850. William P. left his home in Mobile Alabama to come to Texas and joined in its fight for independence. After the war was won, he settled in Jefferson because of its proximity to a unique waterway, Big Cypress Bayou, which connected all of east Texas, northwestern Louisiana, and southwestern Arkansas to the Port of New Orleans. In those days, it was possible to board a riverboat in New Orleans and travel 400 miles inland to Jefferson without having to bother with a stagecoach or even get on a horse. This natural waterway allowed access to the Red and Mississippi Rivers, making commerce with the Port of New Orleans possible. With access to New Orleans, Jefferson had entrée to the world. Jefferson fast became an industrialized, vibrant, modern southern city and Torrans Manufacturing Company was very much a part of its founding by providing lumber, timber, hardware and equipment along with the very finest home furnishings and accessories. Today, the town is better known for its many antique stores, B & B’s along with a plethora of wonderfully restored Ante Bellum, Victorian and Craftsman style homes, many of which are on State and National Registers.
In the early years, Torrans Manufacturing Company produced many things. Among these were cypress shingles, lumber, saddles, harness, wagons and cultivation equipment. Shelves within the main store displayed everything from the finest imported china and crystal to paint and mouse traps. A vast warehouse system housed such things as dynamite, readymade doors and windows in addition to metal roofing and tin ceiling tiles. Today, the buildings that once housed the hardware store and dry goods department for Torrans Manufacturing still stands and it owned by a direct descendant of William P. Torrans. Several quaint antique shops and a fudge factory now occupy the space.
Today, our company is owned and operated by Louis and Kathy Torrans and still doing business in Jefferson. However, the products we manufacture now are less involved than those of yesteryears. Shingles and crystal ware are long gone from the company catalog. In fact, we make just one kind of item, classic and traditional metal outdoor furniture of the type we all grew up with. These timeless designs are again available in a large array of colors and styles. Most of our chairs and gliders were designed by Ed Wormack of Fort Smith, Arkansas in the mid 1940’s. Ed is credited with having designed the first practical three piece lawn chair frame. Until then, they were mostly made from one single, long piece of tubing. Wormack and Company produced chairs for nearly all the large wholesale distributors along with chairs and gliders exclusively designed for Sears Roebuck & Company. Ed’s normal production rate was 500 chairs per hour! Flanders Industries bought out Mr. Wormack in the mid-1950s and produced basically the same furniture line until 1996. Six years later in 2002, Torrans Manufacturing Company reintroduced this same line and today owns molds and tooling to produce five different styles of Metal Lawn Chairs and three Gliders. Only minor modifications have been used to improve these classic and time tested designs. They are for the most part continuations and not at all reproductions or copies. In fact, chairs from Torrans Manufacturing Company are heavier and better built than even those of Mr. Wormack. In 1947, Ed advertised his chairs weighed 19 pounds. Those from Torrans weigh 20.5!
In 2009 we will be reintroducing our East Texas Adirondack Furniture! In 1996-1997 Louis (Skip) took the classic Adirondack chair, used sweeping lines and subtle curves and designed a sturdy wooden frame that is as pleasing to the eye as it is functional. Next he borrowed seats and backs from the ubiquitous painted metal lawn chair so popular on lawns and porches here in our native home of East Texas. He combined the two forms together and created a truly unique outdoor chair that is both eclectic and stylish while at the same time very comfortable and dubbed it the “East Texas Adirondack”. Our distinctive East Texas Adirondack Chair, Rocker and Tête-à-tête are his own unique creations. He started out custom building this furniture and this is what got us to where we are today.
Today this furniture along with our classic metal outdoor furniture is built in China, we are the exclusive manufacture and each item we make is to our own high standards.
Thank you for taking the time to read our history and for your interest in our furniture!
Jefferson is a wonderful town with lots to offer in form of entertainment, shopping and relaxation.