It was a few weeks before Hans had an opening in his schedule that allowed us to go out and hit the road again. I had promised him the chance to go out and learn about the furniture heritage of North Carolina.

We drove south two hours to start the day in Charlotte, NC. We were hungry and decided to try a local ethnic restaurant I had heard about.  Nobody over 70 that I talked to had anything bad to say about it. Plentiful food at reasonable prices. It was even in my GPS!

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Big parking lot. Hans climbed atop my car to make sure we were in the right place.

The food there is all organic in that for the most part it is carbon-based. I believe that there was some issues a few years ago with respect to their special meatballs and the local Health Department but I can’t find the article and I don’t want to be seen trading in unsubstantiated rumors so I will not mention it for now. Forget you read this, assuming you did.

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It is a really large place with many different departments. Besides the restaurant, there is a large store selling all sorts of exotic and prepared foods.

Part of the store is filled with hand-made, boutique furniture from some of the finest local artisans the world over. It reminded me of 10,000 Villages or Pier One Imports. There exists some obvious cross-pollination between the artisans and some of the brain-training companies. This outfit offers a line of puzzle furniture with abstract shapes and cryptic pictographs you solve in the vague hope of assembling the purchased item. As a bonus, the cardboard box often proves to be as useful as the contents therein.

From Charlotte, we headed north to Thomasville, NC. Thomasville is known (to some) as The Chair City due to a combination of the furniture manufacturing (2000 chairs per day in 1916) and the presence of The Big Chair (see below).

We stopped first at the statue of John Warwick Thomas, founder of Thomasville:

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Politician and entrepreneur. He arranged for the railroad to be built through Davidson County and built the first store (1852) in the area in anticipation of the railroad’s arrival.

What youngster doesn’t like trains?

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All aboard!

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Not like the trains of home but a train nonetheless.

And then, The Big Chair:

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A large-scale reproduction of a Duncan Phyfe chair, 30′ high, It was built in 1950 by Thomasville Furniture Industries. It is built of steel and concrete.

I have two problems with what they describe as the world’s largest chair. Is it really the largest? I was unable to independently verify this. For convenience’s sake, I will just accept it until proven otherwise.

The more fundamental question is is it a chair or a chair-like structure? Does labeling a chair mean it is a chair or does calling it a chair imply that it can be used as a chair for chair-like purposes. Does chair define its function or describe its appearance as does Einstein Bros. make bagels or do they make bageloid sandwich rolls? Does a label make it so?

In Highpoint, we found the world’s largest chest of drawers, 36′ tall.

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No doubt about this being a chest of drawers. Note the socks jauntily hanging out of the middle drawer.Not best housekeeping practices but it does have a certain visual appeal and whimsy.

Our last stop of the day was in nearby Jamestown, NC at Furnitureland South, home of 1.3 million square feet of ugly furniture (my opinion). There, they have the world’s largest highboy dresser.

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At 85 feet (29.908 meters), it’s huuuge! Drawers are not dovetailed, however

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In case you missed it. One of these is made of wood.

We drove home, tired but happy.