As one of the leading manufacturers of hand crafted wooden baskets, Peterboro Basket Company has established a reputation of high quality among basket enthusiasts. The company is located in Peterborough, New Hampshire and has been in business for over one hundred and fifty years.
One of the founders of this company was Amzi Childs who came originally from Deerfield, Massachusetts. He arrived in Peterborough in 1841 to manufacture lead pipe. Meanwhile, a man by the name of Moses Chapman had erected a building in 1830 that served as a wheelwright shop. Along with a man named Asa Henry, Childs began to weave baskets in the wheelwright shop from 1851 until 1891. In that year, the basket business burned, and was later sold to the McLane Basket Factory that was located in Milford. The Peterborough business was moved there as well.
One of the foremen at Child’s factory was named Henry B. Needham. He had worked at the plant for fifteen years when the fateful fire occurred. After the business was moved to Milford, Needham established his own basket business, the Needham Basket Factory, in Peterborough in part of the White Machine Shop. Two years later, in 1893, Needham built a new building of his own.
His business began to boom, and in 1916 his business was incorporated and became the H.B. Needham Basket Company. In 1920, this company was reorganized to build a new building and was reunited with the Milford company. In 1926, tragedy struck for a second time as the new building of the H. B. Needham Basket Company also burned. The company was reorganized again, and became the present day Peterboro Basket Company.
Today, the business is still family owned and operated, and employs a large number of Peterborough’s Cambodian population. The company also has the Peterboro Factory Outlet Store that is housed at the same site that the manufacturing facility is. Inside, a team of artisans craft these homemade baskets with the same care that Amzi Childs did. Unlike other basket companies such as the Longaberger Basket Company, the Peterboro Basket Company does not offer tours of their facility due to insurance requirements. The company does, however, offer a video that shows the process in which these baskets are made.
The Peterboro Basket Company offers a variety of baskets for every occasion. Their most popular items include a beautiful knitting basket. This item has a lid and solid legs built onto the bottom that allows you to set these baskets anywhere that you are planning to work. Measuring 17″L x 11 ½”W x 13″H and costing $59.95, this basket can be a useful addition to any household.
Another popular item that is available from the Peterboro Basket Company is the Peterboro Traditional Magazine / Storage basket. This item is the largest in the Peterborough line and allows for easy carrying due to the presence of two swing handles. This model also has two legs that are on the bottom that are crafted from Appalachian White Ash. Measuring 20″ L x 12″W x 11’H and costing $39.95, this basket can be used for storing magazines or for toting a huge picnic lunch to your favorite park or beach.