The company was founded in Denver, Colorado, on March 10, 1910 by Black Hawk, Colorado-born luggage salesman Jesse Shwayder (1882–1970) as the Shwayder Trunk Manufacturing Company.[5] A religious man, Shwayder named one of his initial cases Samson, after the Biblical strongman, and began using the trademark Samsonite in 1941 for its tapered vulcanized fiber suitcase, introduced in 1939.[6] 

In 1965 after the Samsonite suitcase became its best-selling product, the company changed its name to SAMSONITE. For many years the subsidiary SAMSONITE Furniture Co. made folding chairs and card tables in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.