John Boos at Central
John Boos got its start in 1887 when founder Conrad Boos harvested sycamore from wooded areas around Effingham, IL, processed it at his sawmill, and then brought it to his blacksmith shop for finishing. The resulting innovation was a sycamore tree that stood on three legs to better absorb the shock of the blacksmith's hammer against the anvil. When the local butcher took notice of this latest innovation, he saw the potential of using one in his meat market. Conrad's son, John, adapted the idea and made him one, thus launching the company. Now, even 129 years later, they still operate out of Effingham.