The name Karges may not be familiar to you. In fact, many furniture connoisseurs have never heard of it or Evansville, but an editor who recently toured the factory referred to Karges as:
"The Last Great American Furniture Company"
The mission statement of Karges Furniture, in a word: Integrity. It matters not whether you speak of this value on a personal level, a company level or a national or even global level, it is the same. You keep your word. Karges has been doing just that for over a century which is why our reputation for delivering beautiful, high-quality furniture stands strong.
"Maintaining integrity is a new challenge each day and our goal, simply, is to meet that challenge."
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 was known in the plant, was involved in all aspects of the business and will be ever regarded as the expert in matters relating to the unique Karges finish.
In April of 2006 Ed Jr. passed away, leaving Karges personnel greatly saddened by the passing of this wonderfully kind and beloved man. Fortunately, however, he was a great teacher and saw to it that all were well-trained and equipped to carry on his dream for the Company. During the past 30 years, all four of Eddie's children have been involved in the business. Joan Karges Rogier, now President, worked alongside her father for nearly 30 years, 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.
For the past several years Eddie and Joan have been greatly aided by Joan's daughter Gretchen Keith, V.P., who has worked in the business for 10 years and learned to love it passionately as her mother, grandfather, great-grandfather and great-great-grandfather before her. As the fifth generation's representative, Gretchen is vowed to continue the amazing tradition of this family and this Company. Her love for the people, the product and the business help insure Karges Furniture's future.
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.
Sheffield Furniture & Interiors is the authorized dealer of Karges for the Philadelphia area including Malvern, West Chester, Wayne, Villanova, Media, Bryn Mawr, Newtown Square, Gladwyne, Kennett Square, and Berwyn, Pennsylvania and the Washington, DC area including Potomac, Bethesda, Chevy Chase, and Rockville, Maryland and McLean, Leesburg, Great Falls, and Sterling, Virginia. Sheffield Furniture & Interiors also services the entire East Coast as well as other worldwide destinations. Please ask one of our Interior Designers to give you more information regarding our interior design, decorating, and custom window treatment programs.