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Queens Chronicle

He protected babies but now faces a murder rap

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Posted: Thursday, February 28, 2019 10:30 am

In the early 1930s, baby accidents and deaths were more commonplace in America. Laws did not protect children like they do now. But that didn’t stop inventors Alfred E. Puls and Edward Swenson of Cleveland, Ohio from leading where others had not. From 1935 to 1954, they filed and were granted 10 different patents for folding chairs and tables to keep babies and toddlers safe.

Originally called Metropolis Bending Co., their firm was renamed “Babee Tenda” in 1943 when they invented a safety feeding table that was tumble-proof, square and solidly balanced. After World War II, with the baby boom in full swing, they entered the Queens market on a 44-by-99-foot lot at 84-14 Queens Blvd. in Elmhurst.

By 1951 the company had sold 500,000 units nationwide. Their No. 1 salesman, David Jungerman, eventually bought the company and amassed a $33 million fortune.

In 2017, Jungerman made front-page news when he was charged with murder for allegedly shooting to death Missouri attorney Thomas Pickert.

Pickert had won a $5.75 million judgement against Jungerman on behalf of a homeless man shot by the millionaire, who suspected him of stealing copper.

Babee Tenda shut down last year. Its website says the company sold more than 10 million safety feeding table units.

Paperwork was filed with the city last year to put a seven-story, 19-unit building at the business’ former Queens location.

Jungerman helped keep babies safe, but his future doesn’t look too safe.

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