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Events

Date Title Category Image
1968

World’s Largest Manufacturer

Steelcase is designated the world’s largest manufacturer of office furniture.

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Industry
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
03/2003

WorkSpace Futures Formed

The WorkSpace Futures group is formed to conduct research into the ways people work and how to enhance the experience. The group is devoted to unlocking insights in work, workers, and the workplace, relying...

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Company
1996

WorkLife Center Opens in NYC

The first Steelcase WorkLife Center opens on Four Columbus Circle (4CC) in New York City. The Center is devoted to helping customers address workplace issues and create environments that can help achieve...

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Company
08/16/2011

WorkCafe Opens

The WorkCafé at Steelcase Global Headquarters opens. This is the first renovation of the cafeteria since the building opened in 1983. It is designed for work and nourishment, and has quickly become a...

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Company
12/17/1998

Werndl® Büromöbel AG Acquired

Steelcase acquires Werndl® Büromöbel AG, Germany's second largest wood office furniture manufacturer. In April the following year, Steelcase will acquire the remaining 50% of Steelcase/ Strafor S.A....

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Company
1943 - 1961

W.D. Idema Elected President & General Manager

Walter D. Idema, one of the original founders, is elected President and General Manager of Metal Office Furniture Co., succeeding Peter M. Wege after his retirement. Idema's previous history with the Company...

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Leadership
1961 - 1966

W.C. Davis Elected President

Wendell C. Davis is elected President of Steelcase Inc. (and appointed as a director). Davis comes from Cribben and Sexton Company in Chicago. While Davis came to Steelcase under a 5-year agreement, he...

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Leadership
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
09/14/2007

Ultra Group Acquired

To help Steelcase meet the needs of our large and small customers throughout Asia, we acquire the Ultra Group, one of the leading furniture manufacturers in China. Ultra Group was founded in 1993 with...

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Company
1993

Turnstone® Founded

Turnstone® is founded as a subsidiary of Steelcase to cater to the needs of small business and home office workers. The name comes from the Ruddy Turnstone (depicted in the current logo), a small, hardworking...

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Company
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
1921

The Birth of the Brand

Turner Advertising in Chicago promotes the Steelcase® trademark to emphasize the durability of Metal Office Furniture Co. products and adds the tagline, “Found Where Business Succeeds”— an advertising...

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Company
12/23/1936

Terrell’s Equipment Stock Purchased

Terrell’s Equipment Co., which was founded in Grand Rapids in 1908, manufactured steel cabinets, lockers and shelving. Metal Office Furniture Co. had obtained a controlling interest in Terrell in 1925,...

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Company
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
1982

Support Services Offered for Designers

The Steelcase Environmental Support Services (ESS) department is established and software is developed to help position us as The Office Environment Company.  The ESS Survey Analysis collects and analyzes...

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Industry
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
1985

Stow & Davis Furniture Co. Acquired

Steelcase acquires Stow & Davis Furniture Co., a well-respected manufacturer of wood office furniture, based in Grand Rapids, MI. The acquisition provides us with an additional 1 million square...

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Company
08/05/1974

Steelcase/ Strafor S.A. Joint Venture Formed

Steelcase, in a 50% joint venture agreement with Strafor-Facom (a division of Forges de Strasbourg), forms Steelcase/ Strafor S.A. This new arrangement allows for the manufacture of Steelcase chairs in...

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Company
2000

Steelcase University Learning Center Opens

The Steelcase University Learning Center opens. A former manufacturing site, the facility is a showcase for our products and insights about learning, collaboration and increasingly mobile work.

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Company
2006

Steelcase International WorkL@b Opens in France

WorkL@b, the new Steelcase International Headquarters, opens in Strasbourg, France.  The facility is designed to foster innovation, support the international culture of the Company and improve employees'...

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Company
02/18/1998

Steelcase Goes Public

Steelcase becomes a publicly traded company, listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol SCS.

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Company
12/27/1951

Steelcase Foundation Formed

A form for a Trust Indenture is submitted for the establishment of a charitable foundation to be known as “The Metal Office Furniture Company Foundation.” Over time, the Company has donated a portion...

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Communities
06/1987

Steelcase Design Partnership® Forms

Steelcase Inc. forms the Steelcase Design Partnership®, a group of high-design oriented office furniture companies serving special market niches. Under the umbrella of The Steelcase Design Partnership...

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Company
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
03/16/2012

Steelcase Celebrates 100 Years

Steelcase completes a century of industry, innovation and expansion. From simple beginnings as a manufacturer of safes and files for the Macey Company, to the designing and creation of our own metal and...

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Company
1954

Steelcase Canada Ltd. Founded

Fred A. Bell founds Steelcase Canada Ltd. in Don Mills, Ontario (a suburb of Toronto), the first operation located outside of the United States. The facility includes 15,000 square feet of showroom and...

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Company
1978

Spectrum Logo Introduced

The Steelcase spectrum logo is introduced. The rainbow of letters in clean, modern styling represents elegance and the wide range of colors offered in Steelcase furniture. The motor fleet Steelcase logo...

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Company
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
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
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
06/15/1973 - 11/30/1973

Sears Tower Installation

Steelcase executes the largest single shipment in the industry: 43,565 pieces of furniture in 400 truck loads for 7,000 Sears & Roebuck employees in over 44 floors of Chicago's Sears Tower. The Sears...

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Company
1966 - 1988

R.C. Pew Elected President & CEO

Robert C. Pew (II) is elected President of Steelcase Inc.  In 1980, the title changes to "Chief Executive Officer." Pew's history with the company includes: manufacturing expediter (1952); superintendent...

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Leadership
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
08/27/2001

PolyVision® Acquired

Steelcase acquires PolyVision®, which allows us to offer a greater variety of visual communication tools, from standard whiteboards to fully interactive plasma displays. The acquisition also sets the...

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Company
1980

Pohlschröder Joint Venture Formed in Germany

We begin a joint venture with Pohlschröder GmbH KG in Dortmund, West Germany. Pohlschröder began manufacturing metal safes in 1855, and now focuses primarily on office furniture, while also manufacturing...

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Company
2006

Pledge to Reduce Environmental Footprint

Steelcase pledges to reduce our global environmental footprint by 25% by 2012, which means keeping careful watch on greenhouse gas emissions, water consumption, energy use and waste. Since the goal reset...

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Sustainability
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
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
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
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
1914 - 1943

P.M. Wege Elected President

Peter Martin Wege is elected president of Metal Office Furniture Co. (MOFC) in 1914 when MOFC separates from Macey Furniture Company.  He takes the reigns from Alexander W. Hompe and will hold the position...

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Leadership
1978 - 1989

Opinion Surveys on Office Environments Conducted

Steelcase is first in the industry to commission opinion surveys on office environment issues. From 1978-1989, we commission five surveys to better understand and provide for the needs of the contemporary...

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Industry
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
04/2006

Nurture® by Steelcase Launched

Nurture® by Steelcase launches to provide user-centered solutions in healthcare. Nurture views the healthcare environment as an integral part of the healing process and provides holistic solutions that...

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06/2010

node® Chair Introduced

The node® chair, a collaborative effort between IDEO and Steelcase, launches. The first product from Steelcase Education Solutions, it is an active learning classroom solution by enabling mobility and...

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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
1983

National Environmental Award

Our engineers pioneer a high solids paint process that earns the Company a National Environmental Industry Award for Excellence in Air Pollution Control, jointly from the President's Council on Environmental...

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Sustainability
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
12/13/1957

Move to 36th Street

The demand for our office furniture led us to outgrow many of our aging facilities.  Land was purchased on 36th Street in Grand Rapids, MI in the mid 50's. The Shearing Plant is the first building to...

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Company

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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