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Events

Date Title Category Image
1914

Victor Wastebasket Introduced

The introduction of the Victor, a steel wastebasket, is a win-win for all parties. This fireproof product quickly becomes a top seller for Metal Office Furniture Co. Due to the low manufacturing costs...

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Products
circa 1914

Liberty Bond Boxes Introduced

Metal Office Furniture Co. begins manufacturing Liberty Bond Boxes for Swift & Company to use as a premium.  After the Swift contract expires, we add the bond boxes to our regular production line,...

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Products
1914

Bent Steel and Resistance Welding Demonstrated

A demonstration of the combination of bending steel at a right angle and resistance welding in both the Victor wastebasket and a series of file cabinets. The combination enables file cabinet drawers to...

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Products
1915

First Desk Sale

Our product line offerings in 1915 are safe deposit vault equipment, lockers, strong boxes, steel shelving, and wastebaskets.  However, this doesn't stop Metal Office Furniture Co. from submitting a bid...

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Products
1918

U-Channel Invention

Peter M. Wege discovers how to use U-channels to make sheet steel stronger, yet lighter, in weight.  Wege and Metal Office Furniture Company receive a patent for the a manufacturing process using U-channel...

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Products
1924

Desk Strength and Durability

The 621 desk is designed to be fireproof and because of our manufacturing process, is able to support up to 6,000 pounds. Steel furniture is gaining acceptance, and this is Metal Office Furniture Co.’s...

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Products
1927

On Board with Lucky Lindy

Metal Office Furniture Co. makes and installs a custom-built desk aboard the Tri-motor plane that Charles Lindbergh uses for publicity tours around the United States after his transatlantic flight. The...

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Products
1928

Victor Desk Tray Introduced

The Victor desk tray, a new member to the Steelcase Business Equipment family, is introduced joining the Victor Wastebaskets and the Liberty Bond Boxes. Two sizes are available for purchase and the trays...

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Products
1932

“Century of Progress” Desk

The "Century of Progress" desk is designed for the 1933 World's Fair in Chicago. It introduces the island base.

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Products
1932

Production of Vegetable Spray Units

As another means of surviving the Depression, Metal Office Furniture Co. produces Vegetable Spray Units under the Terrell name. These units are designed for grocery store displays, helping fruits and vegetables...

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Products
circa 1932

Specialty Desk Introduced

The growing office industry creates new demands for worksurfaces.  Metal Office Furniture Co. introduces the Burroughs machine desk, designed specifically to accommodate the Burroughs adding machine....

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Products
1934

Suspension File Patent

Metal Office Furniture Co. patents suspension file cabinets and introduces double-wall drawers for added ease and durability.

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Products
1937

Frank Lloyd Wright-Designed Furniture for S.C. Johnson Wax Building

Metal Office Furniture Co. manufactures office furniture for the S.C. Johnson Wax Building designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in Racine, Wisconsin. As a result of a two-year design and production partnership...

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Products
1939

Industry’s First Roll-Edge Desk – 7000 Series

Our 7000 Series desk is one of the industry’s first designed with a rolled edge of linoleum and stainless steel binding strip to protect the linoleum against damage from the impact of chairs. Our 7025...

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Products
1939

Our First Chairs

Metal Office Furniture Co. begins chair production in a section of the Desk Plant (Plant #2). Since 1926, we had been sourcing chairs for customers; this is our first entry into the manufacture of our...

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Products
1942

Naval Contracts Won

Metal Office Furniture Co. wins a $254,000 contract to make lightweight, sturdy steel furnishings for U.S. Naval cruiser class ships. As a result of the war, all manufacturing of steel furniture for commercial...

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Products
1945

First with Standard and Interchangeable Parts

Metal Office Furniture Co. is the first furniture maker with a complete standardization and interchangeability of parts, allowing for more than 200 different arrangements of desks and tables.

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Products
1946

Multiple 15 Desk Introduced

Metal Office Furniture Co. introduces a postwar desk that has been in design since 1942. “Multiple 15” is designed on 15-inch dimensions, allowing for better space planning in open offices. By 1960...

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Products
1952

Convertibles Introduced

Metal Office Furniture Co. introduces Convertibles. These products provide users with more storage space, wider knee-space and greater stability for electric typewriters and calculating machines, while...

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Products
1953

Sunshine Styling Color an Industry First

Metal Office Furniture Co. expands the palette for metal office furniture with Sunshine Styling. The new colors, inspired by David D. Hunting’s trip to Arizona, are Desert Sage, Blond Tan, Mist Green,...

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Products
1954

First to Add Typewriter Auxiliary Unit

Metal Office Furniture Co. is the first to replace the standard box drawer for the typewriter with an auxiliary table or shelf. The 41-ATT and 41-TS auxiliary units attach to pedestal desk, and are designed...

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Products
1955

Jewel Tea Desk: A First

Steelcase creates the Jewel Tea Desk in a collaboration with Harper Richards and A. Epstein & Sons for the new Jewel Tea Building. It's the first straight-line, contemporary metal desk to have wood...

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Products
1956

Flight Line Desks for the Office of the Future

Steelcase introduces the Flight Line of desks – square-cornered, contemporary-designed steel desks with one-inch square tubular legs exposed top to base. Flight Line reflects the Space Age zeitgeist...

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Products
1957

U of M Custom Library Furniture Produced

Steelcase produces the Company’s first official library furniture for the University of Michigan. The chair is custom steel-tubing, later evolving into the very popular 1200 Line of office chairs. This...

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Products
1958

1300 Line Desks Introduced

Steelcase introduces the 1300 Line of contemporary desks, credenzas, and cabinets. The 1300 Line is the first desk to offer either a stainless steel binding on the top edge or a Textolite self-edged top....

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Products
03/1959

Electrical Connections in Desks Introduced

Steelcase introduces back panels for desks that include an apparatus board for electrical and telephone connections. Our Swingstallation back panel allows for easy access to the apparatus board.

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Products
1960

2200 Line Desks Introduced

The 2200 Line is the industry’s first furniture with flush drawer pulls, tambour-door cabinets, and letter-/ legal-size modular cabinets with guaranteed drawer alignment. It is the only flush-type design...

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Products
09/13/1961

Datacase Introduced

At the 50-Year Anniversary Dealer Meeting, “Accent on Excellence,” a complete line of Datacase data processing auxiliaries is announced. This line is designed to accommodate the requirements of customers'...

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Products
1963

Steelcase Coordinated Offices Introduced

A national advertising campaign introduces Steelcase Coordinated Offices (SCO). The message: Steelcase can meet all office furniture needs, including color coordination and installation.

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Products
1966

“Operation Skydrop”

To demonstrate the durability of the 450 Series chair a skydiver is strapped to the chair. At 1,000 feet the skydiver disengages from the chair, which hits the ground at approximately 100 mph. The base...

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Products
10/03/1966

Broadsides Lateral Files Introduced

The 860 Series Broadsides Lateral Files are introduced. This is an industry first, beating out a competitor who claims to have been the first with lateral files in 1967. Soon Broadsides will be incorporated...

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Products
1968

Mobiles Introduced

Steelcase introduces the Mobiles office suite – merging  Multiple 15, Sunshine Styling and Convertibles. Coupled with Movable Walls (panels that efficiently divide space for workers in an open office...

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Products
1971

Gardner Leaver Chair Introduced

The guest chair designed by Gardner Leaver is introduced at the third annual NeoCon. Also designed by Leaver, are matching tea and coffee tables.

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Products
1973

Series 9000® Introduced

Steelcase introduces Series 9000®, soon to become the world’s leading systems furniture line and garnering multiple awards. With the explosion of the "white collar" worker and computerized offices,...

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Products
06/19/1974

430 Chair Introduced

The Series 430 office chair, called "The chair that loves people," is introduced at NeoCon. It sets a new standard in office seating design through the use of comfort contouring, driven by the increasing...

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Products
1975

Paperflo® Introduced

Paperflo®, the industry’s first modular paper-handling system for use with systems furniture, is introduced. A key attribute is keeping work accessible. Timothy, a cartoon tiger, is one of many successful...

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Products
1986

Sensor® Chair Introduced

The Sensor® chair is introduced at NeoCon. An ergonomic chair scaled in three sizes, Sensor is designed to sense and support the body’s movements. Developed in concert with West German designer Wolfgang...

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Products
1989

Context® Introduced

Context, a free-standing furniture system, is introduced. Context components allow a few modular pieces to be combined to yield a great variety of workstations and islands.  Our promotional video launch...

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Products
1995

“Rooms That Work” Introduced

A collaborative project among Steelcase, AT&T and Marriott, the intent is to enhance office services for travelers. “Rooms that Work" will be equipped with a large table, mobile writing desk, adjustable...

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Products
1995

Personal Harbor Wins IDEA Gold Award

Personal Harbor (introduced in 1993) wins the Gold Award in the 1995 Industrial Design Excellence Award (IDEA) competition. Featured in Business Week’s 1995 Best Product Designs of the Year,...

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Products
1996

Criterion® is the Best Selling Chair

The Criterion® chair, designed to meet customer health, safety and comfort needs, becomes our best-selling chair.

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Products
05/1996

TNT™ Furniture System Introduced

TNT™, the newest furniture system from Steelcase Strafor with elegant styling for the European market, is introduced. TNT becomes Strafor's best selling desking system (pictured is TNT*, an evolution...

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Products
03/11/1998

Pathways® Introduced

Pathways®, a first-ever portfolio of products integrating furniture, worktools, technology and interior architecture, launches. The Post and Beam architectural framework and Privacy Wall products redefine...

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Products
1999

Please Is Europe’s Best-Selling Office Chair

Please seating (pictured) launches in Europe. With independent support for both the thoracic and lumbar regions, Please is the only chair with two separate backrests. Other globally influential products...

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Products
1999

Leap® Chair Introduced

Leap®, a revolutionary, high-performance task chair, is introduced. Leap seating technology has 23 issued and pending patents. Because of revolutionary LiveBack® technology that separately supports the...

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Products
04/2000

End of an Era: 454 Production Ceases

One of the few remaining hand-upholstered chairs, the ConCentrx 454 Series ends production after 22 years. Since its introduction in 1977 as a state-of-the-art ergonomic chair, over 3,000,000 454 chairs...

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Products
2001

Cachet® Chair Introduced

The Cachet® chair, designed by Peter Jon Pearce, is introduced. It is an ergonomical, stackable chair designed for healthcare and research applications where comfort and cleanability are key; Cachet is...

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Products
02/08/2001 - 04/22/2001

Workspheres Exhibit at MoMA

The Steelcase Advanced Concepts Research and Development group partners with the MIT Media Laboratory to present "Atmosphere," a piece in the Workspheres exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art.  Atmosphere...

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Products
2002

BlueSpace Developed

Steelcase partners with IBM to create BlueSpace, a "smart office" that combines advanced technology, architecture, and furniture. It was designed as a "prototype of the future."

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Products
2004

Think® Chair Introduced

The Think® chair is launched at NeoCon in the U.S. and at Orgatec in Germany. Marketed as "a chair with a brain and a conscience," this 99% recyclable chair is developed by a project team made up of Steelcase...

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Products

1955

Available in the Archives

    If you are a Steelcase Employee addition information is available at FactFile. For more information contact archives@steelcase.com.

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