The company was founded in 1898 by Ebeneezer Gomme. In 1943, during World War II, furniture was part of rationing in the United Kingdom; the Board of Trade set up the Utility scheme which limited costs and the types of furniture on sale. A small number of simple designs were available in oak or mahogany. This scheme ended in December 1952. This, combined with the Festival of Britain led to a pent-up demand for more modern furniture.