1900 - 1980
Famous for its Juvenile Furniture
The Delphos Bending Company was founded in 1900 by Louis Justus, the father of L.N. Justus. According to an article in the Delphos Herald newspaper dated October 1899, L. C. Justice, A. J. North, both of Bluffton, Indiana and E. G. Ungerer of Celina purchased a saw mill in the South end of Delphos, owned by E. E. Hooker. Justice and North had recently sold a hoop company in Bluffton, Indiana, known as the Bluffton Hoop Company. The new business was named The Delphos Hoop Company and they manufactured barrel hoops. In 1912 the name was changed to The Delphos Bending Company. The Company was owned by Mr. Charles Obermeyer and Mr. Louie Justus from the late 1940's until Mr. Obermeyer's death. In 1980 Orbritron Corporation bought the company and in 1993 the company closed their doors.
The company started making children's furniture in 1934. Itís growth was such that by 1951 it was the largest such company in the world. The products are bent and straight wood parts, juvenile furniture, and toys.
The "Teetertot Shoofly" is one example of the type of children's furniture they produced. The "Teetertot" has various different styles and they were made from 1945 to 1979. They would manufacture several thousand in a year and they were shipped all over the country. There was very little changes made to them during their production years and no date was stamped on the products to indicate the year they were manufactured.
Some of the other types of juvenile furniture were "Space Commander Rocket Ship", "Sabre Jet Springer", "Merry Go Round", "Hi-Prancer Springer", "Pony Shoofly Springer", "Black Beauty Swinger", "Palomino Springer" "Locomotive Shoofly Springer", "Duck Shoofly", "Bentwood Stroller", "Roll-Top Desk Set", "Bentwood Desk Set", "Table & Chairs Set", Bentwood Toy Chest, and many other similar items.
The Delphos Bending Company also manufactured plastic materials, such as traffic cones, chemical tanks, ring molds, juvenile furniture and much more. Some of the juvenile furniture was made with part plastic and part bentwood.
In an effort to preserve and to aid in research of the Delphos Bending Company, permission was requested and received from the Delphos Canal Commission/Delphos Historical Society and from Mr. Robert Obermeyer to scan the Delphos Bending Companyís sale catalogs. These catalogs cover the years form 1935 until 1974. Several years are missing but it gives a overview of what toys were produced and sold. A few of the most popular items are pictured below. The complete set of scanned catalog pictures are preserved on a CD available at the Delphos Public Library and the Delphos Canal Commission/Historical Society Museum.
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Compiled March 10, 2001