Born in Philadelphia in 1919, Phil Powell studied engineering at Drexel University, After World War 2, he moved to New Hope PA, a long-time artists' colony on the Delaware River. There he built a house and began producing carved furniture while selling Herman Miller pieces as well as Isamo Noguchi lamps to earn money. Encouraged by George Nakashima, in 1953 Powell opened a small shop in New Hope to feature his designs.

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