When you're an 8 year old girl, having a middle name like "Tomlinson" isn't exactly cool. The typical thought process of, "Tom is a boyyyyys name, and I wish I could have a middle name like 'Ashley, or Mary'" continued until I was in college and realized how "cool" it was to carry the maiden name of my mom. It wasn't until I got older that I really began to appreciate having a name that has history. My parents didn't find it in a name book, I wasn't named after a famous actress or a favorite flower, I was passed a name that comes with a rich heritage.
The furniture company in the 40's
In 1752 the Tomlinson's a "Pioneer Quaker family migrated from England in search of religious liberation." In 1900 at the age of 24, my great grandfather; Sidney Halstead Tomlinson, founded The Tomlinson Chair Manufactoring Co. which became Tomlinson of HighPoint in 1934. My great grandfather, known as Mr. S.H by his employees was one of the few factory owners who provided safe and modern equipment for his staff as opposed to the sweatshop structure that many companies ran at the time. He was the first furniture manufacturer to showcase his pieces in gallery form- in other words, displaying furniture as it would appear in the home-- which is what most furniture companies use in their marketing today. Aside from furniture, my great grandfather was a founder of the YMCA in High Point and heavily involved in the Quaker church. At the time of his death he had approximately 800 employees. My grandfather William Allen Tomlinson and his brother S.H. Jr. took over furniture company following their fathers death.
King George VI: “ If I’m King, where’s my power? Can I
form a government? Can I levy a tax, declare a war? No! And yet I am the
seat of all authority. Why? Because the nation believes that when I
speak, I speak for them. But I can’t speak.”