Biographical / Historical
The Cavalier Corporation of Chattanooga, Tennessee had its roots as a sawmill, the Tennessee Furniture Company of Chattanooga, which opened in 1865. Gaston Raoul was the second owner of the furniture company. in 1905, he bought an additional enterprise, the Odorless Refrigeration Company, which enabled the Tennessee Furniture Company to rapidly become the largest manufacturer of ice coolers in the country. In 1923 they chose the name “Cavalier” for their line of cedar hope chests and soda coolers. They continued to make furniture in the division known as the Tennessee Furniture Company until 1960.
During the Depression in the 1930s, the Cavalier division of the Tennessee Furniture Company began a long-standing business relationship with the Coca-Cola Company. Calling itself “Cavalier”, they made soda machines, coolers and picnic chests. In 1938 the company name was officially changed to the Cavalier Corporation. The Cavalier Corporation made products exclusively for Coca-Cola through the 1960s.
The Cavalier Corporation was responsible for many “firsts” in the vending market. It was also the first to introduce a vending machine that was able to dispense both bottles and cans of soda. In the 1960’s The Cavalier Cavalier was taken over by the Seeburg Corporation. Seeburg was subsequently taken over by a succession of companies. In 1987 the Cavalier division filed for bankruptcy and was spun off as an employee-owned company. The company closed in August 2000.