Burgess Furniture Pty Ltd built a proud reputation for quality.

In 1858, during the height of the Australian gold rush years Edmund Burgess a qualified cabinet maker arrived in Sydney. Quickly adapting himself to local conditions he started his own business as a cabinet maker and French polisher.

Moving to Melbourne in 1869 he continued to craft quality occasional furniture from his factory in Wellington Street, Collingwood, and in 1886 his eldest son Egbert (himself trained by his father in the craft of furniture making) joined the business.

Furthering the family business Egbert’s sons, Clarence and Ernest, both competent cabinet makers and French polishers who had been “brought up in the Business” carried on the family tradition of quality furniture manufacturing into its third generation.

In 1936 Ernest’s only son, Ernest (Ern) Henry Leonard Burgess (Jan Evans’ father), began an apprenticeship as a Cabinet maker and French Polisher with his father and uncle. He quickly proved that he was well equipped to handle the managerial side of the business, and in 1949 began his vision of turning the family business into a nation-wide brand recognised for its innovation and quality.

Ern knew that to succeed, he needed to apply innovation in both manufacturing techniques and processes to the age old woodworking skills passed down to him from his forebears, while still maintaining the quality product expected of the Burgess brand.

Ern applied himself to an extensive study of modern production methods, office systems, and internal statistics. In 1958 he realised his vision of an efficient furniture manufacturing facility by establishing the largest quality furniture manufacturing site in Australia at Preston (an 8 acres site). For more than forty years Burgess Furniture was the market leader in all facets of product, quality and service.

With the globalisation of manufacturing, the import pressures became too great and the family made the tough decision to close the furniture manufacturing business in 2005.

Burgess Furniture today is still a brand synonymous with quality – as witnessed by the continuing trade of its furniture in the antiques and second-hand markets.