In 1886, Albert F. Karges, a first-generation German immigrant, invested $600 and began making moderately priced bedroom furniture of solid oak and walnut. At that time the river port town of Evansville, Indiana was one of the largest hardwood furniture manufacturing centers in the world. The Karges Furniture Company is the sole survivor. Now, more than a hundred years later, Karges remains one of only a few family-owned and operated furniture manufacturers in America; hence the epithet, "The Last Great American Furniture Company." The Company prospered through the turn of the century, and Albert's son Edwin F. Karges, Sr., joined the family business after World War I. He had a keen interest in European designs and traveled extensively in an effort to learn more about the old-world styles. Soon, the Karges line took on a more classic look and began separating itself from its competitors as he began to develop his own ideas. Mr. "K", active in the company for over 60 years, left elegant, timeless designs, that are still best sellers after 30 years.
After World War II Edwin's son, Edwin F. Karges, Jr., joined the business. He was graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in Wood Technology, and his knowledge and skill in wood finishing provided the groundwork for developing the Karges finishing process. "Eddie," as he is known in the plant, is involved in all aspects of the business and remains the expert in matters relating to the unique Karges finish. During the past 30 years, all four of Eddie's children have been involved in the business. Joan Karges Rogier, V.P., currently works alongside her father representing the fourth generation of leadership. Joan brings to the Company a true understanding and appreciation of the strengths and experiences bequeathed by her predecessors as well as a sincere concern for the workers. She understands why Karges survived and why it remains strong today. Joan would tell you, "The only way to make the very best furniture in the world is the slow, careful, hands-on way." This quality philosophy trickles down to the work bench or desk of each employee.
Over the decades, as competitors focused on cost-saving materials and quicker production methods, Karges refused to compromise quality for profit. This rich history and quality commitment strengthen the company's longstanding reputation and assure you that Karges-by-Hand is the best furniture you can buy.
To learn more about Karges Furniture visit their website at www.Karges.com.