The name Don Lorong has become synonymous with some of the best locally produced furniture of the Mid Century era. ...But who is Don Lorong?
Rex Taylor and his business partner Stan Strong owned Howick Joinery, a firm that produced wooden joinery for windows out of a factory in Moore St, Howick. It had been successful but by the mid-1960s aluminium joinery had come to the forefront of home design. Rex and Stan could see that their days were numbered.
From time to time another friend, David Brydon, would come to the factory and borrow some of the machinery to produce furniture. Rex and Stan liked the designs, which were clean and contemporary so they discussed commercial production from their factory. David was excited by this prospect and bought into the partnership.
The only thing that remained was to give the new partnership a name. Don Lorong was born from the combination of each partners names (David BryDON, Rex TayLOR, Stan StrONG).
Don Lorong specialised in contemporary furniture made from mahogany. The primary focus was on coffee & nest tables, headboards and glory boxes. For a few years the company produced a range of dining furniture but stopped making them because of the upholstery component which had to be out-sourced and was too expensive.
At its peak in the 1970s the company was sending furniture by train to leading furniture stores around the country. The firm also manufactured the first waterbeds for Farmers! Don Lorong furniture even made it to Sydney, Australia when they secured a contract through Irvin and Stern.
Around 1980 the business was sold to two Financiers from Hamilton who enlisted a new manager but within two years it was the sad demise of Don Lorong furniture.
Note: Don Lorong is not related in any way to the 'DON' labelled lounge suites of the same era. They were produced by the Airest factory.
A big thanks to Sally for the information.