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Byline: Mike Sherman
Aug. 20--CRAFTED TO BUILD SUCCESS: LAWYER TURNS FURNITURE REPRODUCTTION FIRM INTO A WORLD LEADER: Montgomery is home to the largest and oldest builder of hand-crafted, mahogany Victorian and French reproduction furniture in the nation.
Harris Furniture Reproductions on Bell Street is one of the three largest such companies in the world, according to owner Bob Harris. Only companies in Italy and Canada are larger, he said.
Harris presides over a niche industry which makes few headlines, but sells furniture in a global market.
Tallassee native Harris said furniture was made in Montgomery as early as 1819, the year Alabama was admitted to the Union. But his business began when Lanier High School manual arts teacher Carlton McLendon began building furniture here in 1931.
Attorney Harris discovered the industry during bankruptcy proceedings a decade ago.
"It knocked me off my feet. I fell in love with it and tried to keep it going," he said. …