Nearly a century ago, a small picture frame company was founded in Boston with one simple goal—to create photo frames as special as the memories they held.
That same dedication and commitment to excellence has been the trademark of Burnes’ products for nearly a century. The Burnes of Boston commitment to fine design and distinctive craftsmanship has made the company an industry leader in ready-made picture frames, albums and photo storage products.
As part of the Nielsen Bainbridge Group, Burnes of Boston is headquartered in Austin, Texas. Its collections are now featured in a wide and growing number of major retail outlets throughout the world.
In 1916, Charles D. Burnes founded a small company in Boston specializing in hand-carved wooden frames.
Following his death in 1936, Samuel Gordon, the founder’s son-in-law, joined the company, hitting the road with suitcases full of samples to sell. It continued as a true family operation, with Sam’s wife Alice handling bookkeeping and his son Charles Gordon assembling frames as a high school student in the late 1950s.
In 1967, Charles Gordon, having finished his degree in chemical engineering, joined the company and eventually became its president. Under his leadership, the company, now called Burnes of Boston, introduced innovative products, including a clear acrylic photo cube and a collage picture frame accommodating multiple photos. In a single year, the company doubled in size.
Meanwhile, in 1933, two Russian immigrants, Herman and Maurice Spertus, started a metal picture frame manufacturing company in Chicago. The brothers were not only entrepreneurs, but also engineers with a great passion for production. They observed the photographic phenomenon sweeping the country and knew they could produce frames at a cost far lower than average.
By the early 1990s, Interraft, led by the Spertus family, had become the largest frame company in the world. It was soon acquired, along with Burnes of Boston and other U.S. and European industry leaders, by Newell Rubbermaid in that company’s bid to establish a clear market leader and innovator. The acquisitions created an enormous portfolio of top brands including Decorel, Rare Woods, DAX, Carr, Terragrafics, Connoisseur and Holson. Through several mergers and divestitures between 2004 and 2011, Burnes for Boston remained the most widely recognized brand in the industry, finally becoming part of the Nielsen Bainbridge Group in May 2012.
A FAMILY OF HOME DECOR COMPANIES