The Sligh Company history
Sligh Grandfather Clocks were one of the finest clock companies around in their time. One of our customers has us service her Sligh Grandfather Clock every year. Although this Sligh Grandfather clock is no longer made, due to the quality of this Grandfather clock and the fact that the customer has this Grandfather clock serviced on a regular schedule, their grandchildren will inherit this beautiful clock with many years of life left in it.
We have put some information together about the Sligh Clock Company. This is just an outline on the company.
The Charles R. Sligh Co. was started by Charles R. Sligh Jr. and O.W. Lowry, both former executives of the huge Sligh Furniture Co., which closed in 1933. Charles R. Sligh’s experience as a traveling salesman and treasurer with that company complemented Lowry’s knowledge of engineering and production efficiency. Their new company was opened in the former Thompson Manufacturing plant in Holland, Michigan with only 45 employees, in a deliberate attempt to operate a smaller, leaner company than their 1,500-employee predecessor. Charles R. Sligh Jr. served as president of the Grand Rapids Furniture Manufacturers Association in the 1940s, and the Grand Rapids Furniture Makers Guild and the National Association of Manufacturers in the 1950s.
The Sligh Company was founded in Grand Rapids, Michigan in 1880 as a bedroom furniture manufacturer," said chairman Rob Sligh. Desks became the company’s principal line of products in the 1930s with the company’s move to Holland Michigan. Bedroom furniture was phased out altogether by 1957. When colleges built dormitories for the baby-boomers in the 1960s, dormitory student room furniture became a main line for the company. The Sligh Company purchased the Trend Clock Company in 1968. As dormitory student room furniture demand faded in the 1970s, clocks grew rapidly, taking up the slack. Home office furniture has been a company growth engine since the early 1990s. Sligh entered the home entertainment furniture business in 2002."
"Grandfather clocks are not the growth market they once were and the economics are not there for us to continue in that business beyond the end of 2005," said Sligh. "Only about 15% of our furniture is made in Holland Michigan. So when we stop producing clocks, we’ll also stop producing furniture in Holland. After 2005, our focus will be on home office, home entertainment furniture and other growing home furniture categories."
125 years ago, wood home furniture production shifted from the eastern United States to the Grand Rapids area. The attraction was lower labor rates, abundant timber and access to the burgeoning west," said Sligh. "By the 1920s, depleted timberlands and rising labor rates in the Grand Rapids area encouraged a shift south to North Carolina and Virginia. A handful of companies, including Sligh, stayed in West Michigan and became known for furniture of the highest quality."
"Wood home furniture is labor intensive," Sligh continued. "That’s why wood home furniture production has always gravitated to lower labor rate regions. In recent years, wood home furniture shifted from manufacturing in the southern United States to manufacturing in countries like China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Mexico, Vietnam and Brazil. Today, most wood home furniture sold in the U.S. is made outside of the U.S."
These changes are difficult for all of us at Sligh since they’re impacting us at a personal level. We’ve worked together for many years and when we stop some of our operations, it means some of us aren’t going to work together anymore. It’s very difficult to say to some of the really wonderful people who have been part of Sligh that there are no longer jobs available for them, despite trying for the last few years to find a way to keep all Sligh employees working. It’s been tough," Sligh admitted. "All of us have a lot of pride in the high quality of clocks and furniture we’re producing in Holland. We’re determined to make the products we produce this year our best quality ever."
Clock Repair Service has been in business for over 10 years now. We service more Grandfather clocks than any other clock company in the state of Georgia. We have 2 Grandfather Clock Technicians that are on the road Monday - Friday repairing 2-3 Grandfather clocks per day, EACH.. That's allot of clocks in the past 10+ years. Our service area at this point is from Chattanooga, Tennessee down to Macon Georgia. The bulk of our Grandfather Clock repairs are however, in the Metro Atalanta area. We service Grandfather clocks ranging from 200+ years old to current models. We do service all brands of Grandfather Clocks and we are an Authorized Sales and Service center for both Howard Miller and Ridgeway clocks.