The H.T. Cushman Furniture Company was founded by Henry Theodore Cushman, who was a merchant at the age of 16, according to the Bennington Museum. He started creating corks in North Bennington after the Civil War and later on decided to manufacture mattresses filled with waste from the corks he made.
Cushman built a small factory in the 1870s and invented various novelties, such as the erasers on the end of lead pencils, states the Bennington Museum. He founded The United States Mail Supply Company, one of the first successful mail order companies in the U.S. He made various inventions, including the first ink eraser, the first pencil and ink eraser combination, and the first ink eradicator. As the locality was small, Cushman moved into the Dayton Colvin Mill on Prospect Street where he became the founder of the H.T. Cushman Company.
The Bennington Museum says that the first real furniture manufactured by the company were racks and coat and hat hangers. In 1892, the company moved to its current location on Route 67A and was incorporated under the laws of Vermont in 1899. The company had made 150 different articles of fancy furniture by this time and employed 30 to 100 people. Cushman introduced the Colonial Creations line in 1933 and added the Modern Creations line in 1936. Cushman was the first company to apply ideas from blacksmiths' nailboxes or cobblers' benches.