Harris Lebus was the son of German immigrants, born in 1852. His father Louis established in Hull as a cabinet maker in 1840 and it was this line of work that Harris and his younger brother Solomon entered into when they came of age. A quarrel at age 21 saw Harris leave his father’s concern and join D.L. Isaacs, later to return to the family business after 12 months. In 1885 Harris and brother Sol agreed an 80 year lease for Tabernacle Square, which was the site that allowed them to become the largest furniture manufacturing company in the country at the end of the 19th century.
It was this stature that lead to Harris Lebus supplying large amounts of furniture to Maples - also known as Maple & Co - which included morning and evening visits to discuss sales, as well as a direct telephone line. It was not uncommon for pieces to be commandeered by Maples just as the floor runner was taking it to the dispatch department. Expanding the operations were a number of salesmen, covering almost every corner of the world, including South Africa, Australia and South America. A hallmark of Lebus furniture is the initials H.L.L engraved upon the lock mechanism and during the Edwardian period, being a proponent of the Arts & Crafts movement.
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