The Elite Furniture Company began operation in 1909. They came into being because of the pooling of ideas and resources by a group of Swedish immigrants, as many of the furniture companies in Jamestown began. Jamestown, at the beginning of the 20th century, had around 100 furniture factories.
It was started by Gustaf D. Danielson, Charles John Anderson, and Axel E. Bloomquist and associates. Gustaf was born October 7, 1873, the son of Daniel S. and Marie Jones Danielson. Daniel was really a farmer, but also had a small wood-working shop where he fashioned furniture for relatives and friends. Gustaf assisted in the shop and was a full fledged cabinet-maker by the time he left home for the US in 1890. He was only 17, but quickly found work first at the Jamestown Chair Company, then at Maddox & Company.
Gustaf was working at Maddox when he joined a group of co-workers in starting a cabinet making enterprise of their own, the Corporation Cabinet Company. After a few years, Gustaf sold his interest in this concern and in 1909 joined 13 friends in organizing the Elite Furniture Company. Shoe merchant Charles J. Anderson became president of the new company; Danielson was named vice president; Gustaf A. Lawson, treasurer; Robert E. Jones, secretary; and Axel E. Bloomquist, general manager.
The company began operations in the former Martyn Furniture Factory on West Fourth at Clinton Street. Its attractive line of tables, pedestals and tabourettes sold so well that the firm soon acquired land on Allen Street extension and erected a sprawling four story factory with basement. Each department foreman was mad an Elite stockholder establishing an early precedent for employee sharing in a company’s success.
Charles John Anderson was born June 21, 1862 in Sfrodinge in Kalmar Ian. Charles, his mother and two sisters arrived to join their father and husband in Sugar Grove in 1871. Charles was involved in many companies, and after helping start the Elite Furniture Company, he joined others in organizing the Jamestown Car Parts Company, a forerunner of the Blackstone Corporation.
Austin E. Anderson was born in Jamestown on March 17, 1888. He was involved in several other furniture companies before helping to form the Elite Furniture Company.
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