Lucian Ercolani arrived in England in 1898 at the age of 10 after, His father had made the decision to move the family from Italy to get more involved in the Salvation Army of which he was a member. Lucian’s first job in woodwork was in the Salvation Army’s joinery department. Lucian was also a keen trombonist in a Salvation Army band. While working as a joiner Lucian also studied drawing and design at the Shoreditch Technical Institute through which he obtained a City and Guilds. Lucian left the Salvation Joinery in 1909 and went to work for Frederick Parker and Sons as a draughtsman and designer. At the same time he began teaching furniture design at High Wycombe Technical Institute where one of his students was Edward Gomme of the Gomme family whose furniture business would later become G Plan. Edward Gomme was so impressed with Lucian that he invited him to join the family firm as a furniture designer. Ercolani stayed with E. Gomme until 1920 when he left to found Furniture Industries Limited which would later become Ercol.
During the second world war Ercol became an important producer of Utility Furniture. Wartime constraints on labour and materials forced Ercolani to pare down designs and improve production efficiency and helped give Ercol furniture the clean, simple look for which it’s known to this day.
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