How to Determine the Age of a Lane Cedar Chest

Written by louise harding
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How to Determine the Age of a Lane Cedar Chest
Lane cedar chests feature serial numbers with encoded production dates. (Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

Lane Home Furnishings and Lane Furniture Industries began as one company: Standard Red Cedar Chest Company. According to Lane Furniture, John Lane purchased a company in 1912 and shortly thereafter he and his family began building chests, and later furniture. Today, Lane cedar chests are synonymous with quality. For nearly a century, over 12 million graduates, brides and others have been presented with Lane cedar chests to use for storage or bottom draws. The serial number of your Lane cedar chest contains the key to your chest's age.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Turn the lane chest upside down. On the bottom of the cedar chest you will find a serial number. The serial number may be stamped, applied or burnt into the wood.

  2. 2

    Read the six digit serial number backwards. According to Lane Furniture, reading the serial number in reverse order will tell you the production date of the Lane cedar chest. For example, Serial number 568190, would yield a production date of 09-18-65, or 1965.

  3. 3

    Read the seven digit serial number, if your Lane chest has seven digits instead of six in the serial number, backwards in the same manner, but note, that according to Lane Furniture, seven digit serial numbers read in reverse order tell you the date of the cedar chest's production as well as the manufacturing plant where the cedar chest was constructed. So, the first six digits are the date, with the last digit denoting the number of the Lane plant.

  4. 4

    Call Lane Furniture customer service at 888-856-8758 if your Lane cedar chest does not have a serial number or has a partially obscured serial number. More than likely, if your chest is lacking a serial number completely, Lane will not be able to help you determine the age of the cedar chest.

Tips and warnings

  • Some very old Lane cedar chests dating prior to 1930 may have the date of the chest's production in the serial number, but not in reverse order. Occasionally, other irregularities occur in cedar chest manufacturing as well. Some cedar chests may have serial numbers stamped or burnt on the lid's interior or none at all.
  • According to Lane Furniture, in 1987 a campaign was launched to make Lane chests safer after several incidents of children being locked inside chests. A lock recall program was established, but Lane estimates about 6 million cedar chests still retain the old, dangerous locks. If your chest predates 1987, your cedar chest may be eligible for a lock replacement. Use the link provided in this article's references and complete the Lock Replacement Form to determine if your lock needs replacing.

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