Wanamakers

 

The Wanamaker family are long time New Hartford residents. In 1916 E. E. Wanamaker, along with two other men, formed the Utica Chair Company in Oneida, NY.  They moved to New Hartford in the lane by Casa Too Mucha restaurant, originally called 42nd Street, to begin the manufacture of Library Furniture and later the nation's first sofa-bed, the "Wanamaker Bed."      

 

The company employed over 60 men and nearly all the early production was shipped to New York City. They later had a factory at 8 Oxford Road and later still moved back down to Genesee Street.

In the 1933 January issue of Town Topics E. E. Wanamaker and Son was described as follows:

"Makers of living-room furniture in their workshops at 8 Oxford Road. The furniture is built under American production methods gained from over forty years’ experience. Theirs is a medium-priced line of living-room suites, chairs, sofas, divans, occasional chairs, settees, and other pieces made to order. They specialize in using the new Sengweb Sagless Tackless underconstruction for seats. They employ all Utica workmen and use local timber in the construction of their pieces. Wanamaker furniture is shown by all progressive local dealers."

In 1945 the mode of operation changed to that of a retail business exclusively, augmented by a line of dining room and bedroom furniture.  E .E. Wanamaker died in 1949. His son Wordie F. Wanamaker kept on with the business and his son, Robert W. Wanamaker, carried on the store after his father's death until 1974 when it closed.

​New Hartford Historical Society, 2 Paris Road, ​New Hartford, NY 13413
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