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Name:    Forshaw of St. Louis Inc.
Profession:  Merchant
Born/Started:    1871
Description:    The business was founded in 1871 by Joseph Forshaw, who moved to the U. S. from England at the age of 19. He was a cabinetmaker by trade and began his company on Cole Street producing the wood molds for sand castings used for making replacement coal stove parts. He later began having his own parts cast, and became the largest supplier of coal stove repair parts in the region. The business moved to 12th Street near Chestnut in 1890. By then it had become the nation´s largest U.S. supplier of parts for cast iron cooking stoves and furnaces. In 1925, Joe Jr. took over the company after his father´s death. He had been a 4 time Olympic marathon runner. In 1926, he purchased the entire inventory of wrought iron fireplace fixtures from a trade show that had financial troubles and sold those.

In 1932, Forshaw moved to a new location on 12th street. In 1948, the company scrapped more than a million pounds of new equipment and parts and added more modern heating and cooling equipment and expanded into barbeque equipment as well as beginning a wholesale trade to dealers and builders.

The business relocated to its present location on Lindbergh Boulevard in 1957 when there was very little business in the area and continued to thrive. Casual furniture, factory built fireplaces and fireplace doors were added to its inventory. Today, a fourth generation of several family members continue to run the business. It is one of the largest casual furniture outlets in the United States.[St. Louis Portrait, p. 209, http://www.forshaws.com/history.htm]

Saint Louis Portrait

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