The early years: 1903-1920

Workers pose in New York City in 1903, the year the company was founded. (Photos courtesy of Telescope Casual Furniture)

1903: Telescope Cot Bed & Novelty Co. is founded in New York City by Henry J.W. Vanderminden Sr. The company’s small manufacturing facility is in midtown Manhattan.

1905: The company is incorporated. The factory and sales offices are still in New York City.

The village of West Pike, Pennsylvania, housed a sawmill for Telescope beginning in 1910.

1910: A sawmill opens in the village of West Pike, Pennsylvania. The wooden parts for cots are produced in West Pike and shipped to the plant and offices in New York City.

A company outing in 1912

1917, 1918: Telescope produces army cots for the war effort during World War I.

1920: Granville Community Association starts asking industries to move to the town. Telescope – which wants its sawmill and factory to be in the same place – begins negotiations with the association. The Granville Development Company is formed with the intention of selling subscription stock to fund the Telescope factory construction, which was planned to be done by the development company.

– Compiled by Erik Pekar, Granville town historian

Editor’s note: The company is thought to draw its name from the “telescoping” leg design of its cots, but some still believe the name comes from the location of the company’s original sawmill – on Telescope Road in the village of West Pike, Pennsylvania. David Castano, president of the Potter County Historical Society in the state, said the “Telescope, Pennsylvania” location mentioned in some references about the company’s early years was never an officially recognized place-name in the Commonwealth. Instead, he said he believes the name referred to Telescope Road.