Alphonse Armbruster emigrated to US in 1853 from Germany with family. Settled in the large German community in Springfield, Illinois.
Rudolf Herman Armbruster
Alphonse’s Son, Rudolf Herman Armbruster, starts a small canvas, awning, and upholstery shop: R.H. Armbruster Manufacturing.
The Travelling Circus
Travelling Circus visits Springfield and hires Armbruster to make first large canvas tent. Portuguese Sailors are first skilled tentmakers and train our staff how to sew large canvas tents.
Armbruster begins manufacture of small canvas walled tents, folding chairs, invalid chairs, buckets, and awnings.
Armbruster Starts Rentals
Armbruster launches tent rental division and rents tents, chairs, funeral organs, and rah rah horns for events.
The Illinois State Fair
Illinois State Fair moves to Springfield. Begin farm and fair show rentals, which continue to the present day.
The 4th Street Location
Purchase 4th Street location in downtown Springfield. This location serves as the company headquarters from 1910 – 1978.
World War I
World War I production begins. Includes the first large government contract for the Red Cross, as well as contracts for YMCA and Salvation Army.
Additional Production Space
As demands increase, Armbruster adds third floor to headquarters to serve as additional production space.
Walter C. Armbruster
Walter C. Armbruster takes over as president of the company.
Purchase Trap School
Purchase Trap School. From 1925 – 1978, this location serves as the tent rental division headquarters and additional warehouse space.
State Fair Tent Encampment
Armbruster Manufacturing manages the tent encampment at the Illinois State Fair from the 1920s through the 1970s.
The Great Depression
During the Great Depression, Armbruster provides tents as temporary shelter for families after banks foreclose on their homes.
Awning Business Grows
Awning business increases – pre-central AC. From the 1930s – 1950s, awning storefronts are established throughout the Illinois.
Voting Booth Production
Voting booth production begins in the 1930s and continues through the 1960s.
The War Years
The War Years. Government issues first large contracts. Products include: Wall Tents, Bomber Winter Maintenance Shelters, Shelter Halves, 40’ General Assembly Tents, pyramidal tents. Veteran’s claim “Armbruster Tents don’t leak”.
The War Effort
During this time, Armbruster has 3 Shifts of workers at multiple locations building tents, for a total of 920 workers.
Due to increased workforce, Walter’s wife, Helen Armbruster, steps in to help and becomes driving force behind the company.
Korean War contracts follow World War II contracts.
Rental Division Expansion
Rental division expansion to event sites all over the Midwest.
Farm Show Curcuit
Farm show circuits and state fair work continues.
Large Canvas Tents
Improvements in the design and technology behind large canvas tents.
Bernard Armbruster assumes role of President of the company.
Transition from canvas to vinyl tents to provide customers a more durable and safer product. Vast improvements also made in construction techniques. Engineering Certification of Tents for flame resistance and wind load capacity established.
Route 66 Location
Company headquarters moved from 4th Street location to new plant on Old Route 66. Focus on increased production capabilities, contract production.
Armbruster’s Ultraframe design introduced to market.
Work with IFAI to standardize tent industry. Increase safety standards. Conduct staking study.
TensionTent introduced, the original tension tent. Engineered for 120mph wind rating, it advanced the technology and durability possible in tension designs.
Celebration Frame Tent
Armbruster’s Celebration Frame Tent design introduced.
Armbrusters introduces the EuroTent to the market – the strongest twin poled peaked design in the industry. Vinyl tent improvements. Bail-ring older designs phased out.
Focus on commercial awnings, structures, and custom vinyl work. Focus on Web presence.
An increase in production costs and decrease in market demand lead to a focus on fewer and better products. Armbruster scales back operations for a more streamlined and efficient production process.
Bernard Hellar Armbruster assumes position of company President. Bernard Armbruster moves into role of CEO.
With 2008 market collapse, Armbruster shifts to more custom products. Custom structures range from equipment covers to patio walls to custom tents for movies such as Spiderman 3, The Adams Family, and the Lone Ranger.
Taking inspiration from our founding designs, Armbruster develops line of World War I and World War II historic canvas tents.