Jesse Shwayder

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Jesse Shwayder (26 March 1882 - 24 July 1970) was the founder of Shwayder Trunk Manufacturing Company, on 10 March 1910 The business made folding card tables and furniture under the "Samson" brand, named for the Biblical character. Shwayder, who was devoutly religious, had also named his son King David Shwayder.
In 1939 the company introduced a sleekly-designed new suitcase branded "Samsonite", with a tapered shape and vulcanized fiber covering, They began marketing all of their products under the Samsonite brand by 1941 and in 1965 the firm was renamed Samsonite Corporation after its best-selling product.

Shwayder retired in 1962, turning over control of the family-owned corporation to his son King David Shwayder and two able sons-in-law. In 1961 Godtfred Kirk Christiansen signed an agreement with King David Shwayder, at the time an executive of the company. The result was a 99-year license for exclusive North American distribution rights. Shwayder Brothers began marketing sets under the name LEGO by Samsonite in the US in 1961 and Canada in 1962. A licensing dispute ended the arrangement in the United States in 1972, but Samsonite remained the distributor in Canada until 1986.


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