Peterson Art Furniture

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Peterson Art Furniture was founded in 1905 in Faribault, Minn., by John Peterson, who was born in Denmark in 1871 and emigrated to the United States when he was 13 years old. He was employed as a wood carver and cabinet maker in Massachusetts before coming west to work in a furniture store in Minneapolis. In 1895, he joined his brother Andrew in Faribault and worked as a carver and designer with the Hutchinson-Stockton Furniture Company until 1901, when he started a furniture company of his own in Waterville, Minn. In 1905, he returned to Faribault to establish the Peterson Art Furniture Company at 708 N.W. 5th Street. The company acquired other furniture factories, including Daisy Woodcraft, North Star Furniture Co., Waterville Furniture Co. and the Faribault Furniture Co., and at one time manufacturing took place at six locations, four in Faribault and two in Waterville. Later all were moved to 28 N.E. 4th Street.


One of these companies, the Faribault Furniture Co., was located east of Central Avenue between 4th and 5th Streets and was constructed at a cost of over $50,000 in 1886 by J. Hutchinson, A.W. Stockton and Frank Beach. The opening doubled the manufacturing facilities of their previous business, the Flint Furniture Company, founded in the mid-1860s by N.S. Flint at the corner of Fifth and Buckeye Streets. By 1910 the Faribault Furniture Co. also included undertaking.


In 1913, Peterson bought the Ideal Lamp Co. from Herbert Sellner, which was located at the former site of the Louis Fleckenstein Brewery (9th Street and 3rd Ave. N.E.). This site later was the home of the Treasure Cave Cheese company. Sellner remained a foreman at the company, named Daisy Woodcraft, until 1914, when he started his own business, Sellner's Manufacturing Co. In 1926 Sellner invented the Tilt-a-Whirl, a popular ride at carnivals and amusement parks.


The Peterson Art Furniture table lamps continue to attract attention. A picture of a wood and ruby glass lamp is featured in the May-August 2008 issue of "American Bungalow" magazine with a caption noting that "this Peterson Art Furniture Company table lamp is arts and crafts lighting at its very best."


Source:  above taken from web article "History of Peterson Art Furniture" by Susan Hvistendahl.


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