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Thomas Edison was here!

An Industrial Console With a Whole Lot of History

At first glance I saw a well made industrial console table. But this table is a little piece of Wisconsin history too. Thomas Edison needed a furniture company to make the the cases for his early phonographs, so he invested in the Wisconsin Chair Company. They dedicated their New London Wisconsin factory to manufacturing cases for his music machines.

Our industrial style console had already had a long life as Edison’s factory floor. The wood has been sculpted by the feet of Wisconsin workers driving silver slivers into the wood. It’s likely Edison himself strode along these planks.

Here’s one of his early phonographs. (courtesy of the New London Public Museum)

While the console manufacturer, Charleston Forge, is currently only making limited edition Edison Consoles, I was told they would construct a coffee table or end table out of this historic floor in any custom size. While our console is number 069, your custom table could be number 1 or even one of a kind.

I found this on the rise & fall of the original Paramount: 

How did a Wisconsin chair company, producing records on the cheap and run by men with little knowledge of their audience or the music business, build one of the greatest musical rosters ever assembled under one roof?….By the time Paramount ceased operations in 1932, it had compiled a dizzying array of performers still unrivaled to this day, spanning early jazz titans (Louis Armstrong, King Oliver, Jelly Roll Morton, Fats Waller), blues masters (Charley Patton, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Son House, Skip James), American divas (Ma Rainey, Alberta Hunter, Ethel Waters), gospel (Norfolk Jubilee Quartette), vaudeville (Papa Charlie Jackson), and the indefinable “other” (Geeshie Wiley, Elvie Thomas).


At Stange’s we love uncommon home furnishings that can set your home apart so we had to buy an Edison Console. Come take a gander at all we offer in our 6 floors of showroom.

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Smokin in the Boiler Room

Back in 1952, teachers Sammy Taylor & Bob Stange, were smoking cigarettes in the boiler room of Waupaca High  when they decided it would be a great idea to quit their jobs and open a furniture store.

They decided to to tell their wives Lois and Rene over a game of bridge. I can only imagine my mother saying, “you’re going to do what!!?”

They rented this store front from Randy Hansen who had his photography studio upstairs. They sold furniture, appliances, TV’s and radios. At one point they even sold eggs.  If they went all day without a sale they would go upstairs and sell Randy a pencil.

Every June we celebrate the wild chance Sammy and Bob took, risking their savings to open a furniture store. Risk a jaunt to Waupaca yourself while nearly everything in our store is on sale. You’ll find all sorts of uncommon home furnishings designed to set your home apart. You are going to love us!

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Harry Truman was President when

It was 1952 when 2 school teachers decided to take a chance, risking their savings opening a furniture store. Bob put in $3000. Sam was a little short, so he threw in his car which they traded for this pickup truck.

They rented this store front from Hansen Photography. Randy Hansen's studio was upstairs. When they had a day without a sale they would go upstairs and sell Randy a pencil.

"Number Please", The operator would say. "Five Six" was my reply. Then she would ring our store. You can see our first phone number prominently displayed on the door of our truck below. Our phone numbers are longer now but among our phone numbers is 715-256-5656

All these years later, we're still taking chances at Stange's, buying uncommon home furnishings you won't find at stores that play it safe. Risk a short drive to Waupaca. With six floors of showrooms inside 3 attached buildings, there is plenty for you to see.



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