M2L Furniture - Harvey Probber's Early Days in the Furniture Industry

Harvey Probber® Products

Harvey Probber Architectural Series Bench


Harvey Probber Mayan Sofa


NY Daily News ad from 1940 for "Renard Lenglen" (Harvey Probber)

Renard Lenglen didn't exist. It was a fictitious name for the Michaels Brothers furniture store publicity. A letter from Michaels Brothers acknowledged that Harvey Probber was the author of the "innovation" of a collection of designs that is advertised as being by the design-committee prize-winner Renard Lenglen.

The text from this ad in the New York Daily News (September 12, 1940) reads:

Designed by Renard Lenglen for those lovers of modern who want something really different… this smart suite has been selected by our Mayfair House Committee as the prize winning suite of 1940. Includes the extra-large, extra-comfortable Channel-back Settee and Arm Chair and the High-back Wing Chair… covered in Government Standard Mohair with fine pencil stripes of Curled Mohair… in choice of glorious two-tone pastel shades. Features sweeping jumbo welt decorations… sag proof steel construction… and latest style puffed arms. $285 grade… and bears our Mayfair House Lifetime Guarantee. Please note that a $10 deposit was required.

Playing second-fiddle to a made up designer is an example of the many obstacles that Probber faced while trying to establish himself as a designer of tasteful, well-made modern furniture. He was just 18 years old at the time of this ad and situations like this forced, or inspired, him to think up up a better way to design, present and sell beautiful, well-made modern furniture.