Worthy Conversations: Peter Duncan, Jr. on Why Good Sleep Is Timeless
The Original Mattress Factory has been selling sweet dreams in Fort Worth since 1896. Now the fourth generation, Peter Duncan Jr., continues his great-grandfather’s legacy, proving that good sleep never goes out of style.
How did your great grandfather find himself in the mattress business?
He came to Fort Worth in 1894 from Tennessee and got into the upholstery and mattress supply business. During the Great Depression, he knew people needed to sleep and to maintain their homes, so he got into the broom business and made cotton tufted mattresses. He would travel all over Texas and Oklahoma selling his Keeton mattresses and brooms. Later in the 1950s, his son, Harry Keeton Jr., started building Spring Air mattresses in Oklahoma City and West Texas.
And what were mattresses like in the 19th century?
Everyone slept on a cotton mattress back in those days. It was just a simple gray and white cotton striped ticking. To keep them maintained, people would take them outside to air out and they would beat them down with a broom to make them like new.
Are the rumors true that you should be replacing your mattress every 5 to 8 years?
A good mattress should last 10 to 15 years if it’s been built double-sided. Many manufacturers have gone to a no flip, 1-sided product. Because when you can’t flip a mattress, of course, it’s going to compress and show body impression faster. We build them like the old days. We still double side where you can flip and get longer life.
What do you recommend to the person who is mattress shopping?
Of course, buy quality and buy what you can afford. When you are mattress shopping, wear comfortable clothes and take your time to try them all out. Look for a manufacturer that has a good comfort warranty and will stand behind their product. Our policy at The Original Mattress Factory is 100% customer satisfaction.
Your family’s roots go way back here in Fort Worth. What do you love about this city?
We love the small-town atmosphere, even though it’s a big town. The heritage, the people, we just love everything about Fort Worth. Plus, it’s a great place to raise your family.
Memory foam or spring mattress?
Well, both are good. But I’m going even one better- I recommend the all-natural latex rubber mattresses. It’s an all-natural fiber from a rubber tree. They are very durable and comfortable. They come in many comfort levels and relieve pressure from the hips and shoulders, creating great back support. Foam type mattresses are man-made plastics. They will feel good for a while, like an inner spring, but over time will break down faster than latex.
Although she prefers burnt orange to purple, Hannah Bush is happy to call Fort Worth her new home. She began freelance writing a few years ago to break up the monotony of her 9 to 5 and to prove to her parents that she’s making good use of her journalism degree. When she’s not hanging out with her cat, Hannah can likely be found on a patio with her fiancé, talking about her cat.