Through lightweight fabric alternatives, liner systems, weight and cost saving within our frame systems, and integration with other critical operations components, we are working to create Command Posts, Tactical Operations Centers and Relief Camps that are easier to use, more expeditionary and more capable, while requiring less power and fuel.
Though the exact year is unknown, Eureka!'s long history begins prior to 1895, in Binghamton, NY, where the company still resides today. Then known as the Eureka! Tent & Awning Company, its first wares were canvas products-most notably, Conestoga wagon covers and horse blankets for nineteenth century American frontiersmen- as well as American flags, store awnings, and, of course, tents.
The company increased production of its custom canvas products locally throughout the 1930s, and during the 1940s, even fabricated and erected the IBM "tent cities" just outside Binghamton. The seven acres of tents housed thousands of IBM salesmen during the company's annual stockholders meeting, which had since outgrown its previous locale. In the 1940s, with the advent of World War II and the increased demand for hospital ward tents, Eureka! expanded operations and began shipping tents worldwide. Ultimately, upon the post-war return of the GIs and the resultant housing shortage, Eureka! turned its attention to the home front during the 1950s, supplying awnings for the multitude of mobile homes that were purchased.
Eureka!’s "camping" tent history began in the late 50's and early 60's. That's when work on the new and innovative Draw-Tite® began. The Draw-Tite tent, with its practical, free standing external frame, was used in a Himalayan Expedition to Nepal by none other than world renowned Sir Edmund Hillary-the first person documented to summit Mt. Everest only six years earlier. Then in 1963, Eureka! made history during its own Mt. Everest ascent, with over 60 of its tents sheltering participants from fierce 60+ mph winds and temperatures reaching below -20°F during the first all American Mt. Everest Expedition.
For backpackers and families, the 1970s were a time for "getting back to nature." For them, Eureka! introduced its legendary Timberline® tent. Truly the first StormShield® design, the completely self-supporting and lightweight backpacking tent became one of the most popular tents the entire industry had ever witnessed, with sales reaching over 1 million by its ten year anniversary.
While Eureka! tents have traveled as part of several historic expeditions, including the American Women's Himalayan Expedition to Annapurna I in 1978; the first Mt. Everest ascents by a Canadian woman, 1986; and by an American woman, 1988; they have also stayed closer to home with some very historic families. Our large party rental tents made by Eureka! have appeared at lavish Kennedy family parties, while a Eureka! camping tent was reported to be the only purchase made during a July 4, 1991 visit to a Missouri sporting goods store by then President George Bush.
For 75 years, we ran a successful party tent rental business. During that time, we learned a lot about what our customers wanted, what worked well for different rental applications and what it is that people want in a rental tent. The Eureka! commercial tent division has earned a reputation for quality products and innovative designs in manufacturing. Along the way, we have been the recipient of multiple IFAI Achievement Awards for tent design and excellence in manufacturing.
The experience gained in over 100 years of building soft shelters, from covered wagons and tents in 1895 to the Genesis® tension tent in 1986 to the Fifth Season Expedition Tent in 2002, has forged the way for the Military Division, which currently manufacturers both structural and sleeping tents for all branches of the U.S. Military.
Eureka! began developing the current MGPTS design in 1997. Through a contract with the government, we set out to revolutionize one of the shelter standards for the United States military. Through extensive research and development, we designed and tested the new system against the rigorous U.S. military standards, passing every one. We completed the contract and fielded the MGPTS Type I, but didn’t stop there. On our own, we looked for ways to continue improving the design for the warrior in the field. The MGPTS Type III was developed to eliminate the needs for Y-poles down the center of the structure, instead replace them with an internal arch system. This tent system incorporates the latest design and manufacturing technologies to provide the Government with a multi-purpose weatherproof shelter for any environment. The MGPTS Type III is significantly different from any other tent previously produced for the U.S. Government.
In addition to the shelter itself, Eureka! also developed special liners and systems for the U.S. Army Soldier & Biological Chemical Command, working on an overpressure system and utilizing fabrics that are resistant to chemical and biological agents like mustard gas and VX nerve gas.
During this time, we also developed cutting edge, smaller tents and shelters including the 2-man Combat Tent for the U.S. Marine Corp. Eureka! has produced over 75,000 of these units and they have been deployed around the globe from U.S. bases to Afghanistan, to Kuwait and to Iraq. We are a leading supplier to the military on small tents and shelters, including the Tent, Combat One-Person (TCOP), the U.S. Army 3-man Lightweight Extreme Weather Shelter (LEWS), the 2-man Marine Combat Tent, the 4-man Extreme Cold Weather Tent (ECWT), the Canadian Survival Environmental Protector Tent (SEP) and the Chemical/Biological Liner for the MGPTS.
Our commitment to innovation in all phases of design and manufacture led us, in 2006, to the design and introduction of the Rapid Deployable Shelter (RDS). Through a partnership with Hoberman Designs, Inc., and based on a Hoberman design, this frame supported system uses synchronized gears for faster, easier set-up. With a greater focus on ease of use, The RDS was developed to be erected by minimal personnel, stand up to the harshest of wind, rain and snow loads, and provides our troops with the simplest, most durable military shelter available on the market today.
Eureka!'s history, professionalism and quality products has earned quite a reputation in the "cut & sew" market. We have since participated in several design and development projects both internally and with the support of the U.S. government. Our current projects are geared toward energy efficiency, increased flexibility and highly expeditionary systems. Eureka! has the expertise to help you meet your mission … and the record to prove it. Desert and mountain warfare, emergency response, and disaster relief are only a few of the real-world missions we support with our innovate features and rugged construction….all including superior craftsmanship, attention to detail, consistent innovation and excellent creature comforts. Eureka's commitment remains the same: to provide the best gear at the best price. You can be sure that no matter where your mission takes you, your Eureka! tent, shelter or pack is made to meet the challenge.