Founded in 1875 in Springfield, Illinois, the Armbruster Manufacturing Co. is America’s oldest tent maker. As you can see from the building in the above archival photo, the company started out as a canvas goods and upholstery shop but eventually came to specialize in tent making. Armbruster was also a supplier to the U.S. military during WWII – which is how I came to discover them. I was looking to buy an authentic WWII tent, of all things. I considered buying an old original, but didn’t really want to deal with the smell of such an artifact. The good news is, Armbruster is remaking a variety of WWII olive drab canvas tents on the exact same equipment as it did in the 1940s – that is definitely the best-of-both-worlds.
Pictured above and below is a new M1934 tent, which can be ordered from directly from Armbruster. The company has sold out of all of their inventory, but expect more tents coming this fall. You can pick up one of these bad ass M1934 tents for a cool $3060 – made in the USA of course. That includes a vintage pole set and everything you need to establish your base. And by everything, I mean it will get you one giant canvas tent and some wooden poles. You will still need beer, a long extension cord (for the flat screen and the fridge), a grill, some chairs and all sorts of other “fort” accoutrement. Shit, I might set one of these tents up in central park. Armbruster says they are about 256 square feet – that’s the equivalent to an New York studio apartment. Plus, think about all that nature I will be enjoying out there in the wilds of Manhattan.
If the 1934 tent is too big, they also make a few smaller reproduction WWII tents if the M1934 is too big for you or out of your price range. The command post M1942 tent is also pretty sweet. [Armbruster Mfg Co.] [WWII Repo Price List PDF]