Founded in the 1850’s by Swiss immigrants from Cincinnati, Tell City, Indiana was originally a planned community in which land was distributed by lottery and everyone was guaranteed a job. One of the first businesses in the town was the Chair Makers Union, a cooperative organized by 11 men; all were equal owners and the constitution required every member to work in the factory. The company retained the name even after the cooperative structure fell apart—but eventually became the Tell City Chair Company in 1924.
The photo shows representatives Jacob Zoercher (left) and A.P. Fenn taking orders at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair.