SARATOGA SPRINGS — A century ago, Calvin Coolidge was president, the first pitch was thrown at Yankee Stadium, and a man named Charles “Jake” Jacobsen entered the rug business.
Jacobsen Rugs celebrates its 100th anniversary in November. According to President Frank Asef, a ribbon-cutting ceremony is in the works for the Jacobsen showroom at 543 Broadway in downtown Saratoga. The store’s entire inventory will be 35 percent off through December 16 to mark the occasion.
Asef said that Saratoga customers favor traditional over modern rugs, especially designs from India, Pakistan, Nepal, and Afghanistan. “We get a lot of customers from Lake George. We sell a lot of the big sized rugs.”
Although it’s been nearly 100 years since Jake Jacobsen founded the company, his memory still looms large over the current owners. “I love him,” Asef said of the company’s founder. “I didn’t get the chance to meet him but he is in my heart.”
According to Jacobsen Rugs, founder “Jake” Jacobsen served in World War I and met a superior officer who introduced him to Middle Eastern rugs. Upon returning home, Jake opened his first rug store in downtown Syracuse. Before long, duty called once again and he saw action in World War II. He fought in the Italian campaign, and was among the first Americans to enter liberated Rome.
He first purchased Turkish rugs abroad in 1932, then later journeyed across Europe and the Middle East to find more rugs to sell in the States. When abroad, he bought rugs directly from rugmakers.
Over the last century, more than 100,000 handwoven rugs have been sold by Jacobsen Rugs. In 1990, the Saratoga location opened and has been selling rugs from around the world ever since.
For more about Jacobsen Rugs visit jacobsenrugs.com.