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History

Eureka! was established in 1895 as a small custom canvas shop that designed and sewed house and store awnings, Conestoga wagon covers, horse blankets, American flags, and - of course - tents. Eureka! became a major manufacturing facility in the 1940's when World War II erupted and demand for tents skyrocketed. During World War II, we manufactured hundreds of hospital ward tents. In the 50's, many returning G.I.'s purchased mobile homes in the housing shortage, and bought trailer awnings from Eureka!. In the Vietnam campaign, Eureka! produced liners for thousands of Quonset huts.

Our "camping" tent history began in the late 50's and early 60's. That's when work on the Draw-Tite® began ... the tent used first by Sir Edmund Hillary and then by America's first Everest expedition in 1963. From this benchmark, innovation grew. A breakthrough came in 1973 with the introduction of the Timberline®. For backpackers, the Timberline® was the first self-supporting, lightweight tent. Brass hooks were used to speed set-up, an early predecessor to clips. Truly our first StormShield® design, over 2,700 Timberlines were sold the first year, and by its tenth anniversary, sales of the Timberline® topped 1 million! And in 1978, Eureka! was with the American Women's Himalayan Expedition to Annapurna every step of the way. In fact, Eureka! tents have accompanied all the North American "first ascents" of Mt. Everest, including the first Canadian woman in 1986 and the first American woman in 1988.

 

Free Standing Dome Tent,  1948


 
Seen as the archetype of all free standing dome tents. It is a free standing tent, which uses arched poles attached to the floor of the tent, with the tent body attached to the poles along the length of the poles. At the top a line attaches the tip of the tent to the poles. The poles are made in sections for compact size when transporting the tent. The patent was filed in 1948.
 
Robert Blanchard worked for Eureka! This free-standing design concept went on to inspire his DrawTite designs of the '60s. This would be the ancestor for the modern Eureka! Timberline. Now, several "innovative" companies use tensioned pole segments joined by a hub to create a freestanding structure.

 

 

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