Peterboro Basket Company isn’t shy about its age. Smack-dab in the center of its brass labels is an embossed “1854,” the year the New Hampshire business was founded. As one of the few remaining American basket companies, it has every reason to trumpet its longevity. For 160 years, Peterboro has produced classic woven containers, all made from the hardwood trees of New England. “We use Appalachian white ash now. It’s the best, the same wood that’s used in baseball bats and hammer handles,” says managing partner Wayne Dodds. Every part of the process happens under one roof: Raw materials come in one end of Peterboro’s 40,000-square-foot factory, and heirloom-quality wares come out the other. “Each piece is woven by hand. Each nail is individually put in place,” says Dodds. “Our baskets are truly handcrafted.”
Why We Love It
There are no shortcuts at Peterboro. Brass nails, hammered in by hand, are used because they don’t rust. Strips of wood are sent into a steam cooker to make them more pliable for weaving. Baskets are dip-stained rather than sprayed. These extra-mile efforts are more than worth it: The beautifully constructed products last a lifetime.