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Events

Date Title Category Image
1991

Details® “Wastebasket” Introduced

A fire-retardant wastebasket composed of 100% recycled content is developed by Details® and called "Wastebasket." It is made of high-impact polystyrene derived from post-consumer waste. The unique product...

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Sustainability
03/08/1990

Details® Founded

Details® launches in New York City and becomes part of the Steelcase Design Partnership®. A few of the many products introduced are the Articulating Keyboard Support designed by ID Two in San Francisco,...

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Company
2000

E-Commerce Sales First Offered to Steelcase Customers

Internet storefronts make purchases easier for customers. Steelcase expects more than 50 customers to purchase products through the new e-commerce program by the end of 2000.

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Company
06/2010

EcoCradle Packaging

Steelcase begins using Ecovative Design's EcoCradle packaging, made with agricultural byproducts like seed hulls and mushroom roots, EcoCradle requires very little energy to produce and it provides the...

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Sustainability
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
2003

Eliminating VOC Emissions

Steelcase reaches a key environmental milestone by eliminating the emission of almost all volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from its metal finishing operations based in Michigan. This is the result of...

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Sustainability
1933

Employment Levels Maintained Despite Depression

As Metal Office Furniture Co. sales reach their lowest point during the Depression, employees are divided into part-time groups and wages lowered to 25¢/ hour so that everyone continues to earn an income....

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Communities
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
11/11/1918

End of World War I

Germany signs the armistice, ending World War I on November 11, 1918.

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2008

Energy Credits Purchased

Steelcase purchases renewable energy credits from the Wege Wind Farm in Texas. The Farm includes eight giant wind turbines that generate enough energy to power 2,925 homes for a year. Over five years we...

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Sustainability
11/26/1928

Entrance into the International Market

The Steelcase trademark makes its first appearance in Argentina, with brochures for 1200 Line file cabinets printed in Spanish. This marks our entry into the international market.

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Company
1989

Environmental Excellence Award

The State of Michigan presents us with a Resource Stewardship Award for Environmental Excellence for being the first company in Michigan to restore a prairie ecosystem surrounding the Steelcase Corporate...

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Sustainability
1994 - 1994

F.H. Merlotti Elected Interim President

After Jerry K. Myers resigns, Frank H. Merlotti (Sr.), former President and CEO, agrees to act as Interim President of Steelcase Inc. until a replacement can be found. Merlotti's history with the Company...

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Leadership
1988 - 1990

F.H. Merlotti Elected President & CEO

Frank H. Merlotti (Sr.) is elected President and CEO of Steelcase Inc. Merlotti's history with the Company includes: plant manager (1964); vice president of manufacturing (1967); senior vice president...

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Leadership
1971

Fabric Cutting Technology Better for the Environment

A new fabric-cutting press is added, eliminating much of the hand-cutting for upholstery fabric.  This new technology helps speed production, offers greater uniformity and less waste.

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Sustainability
12/01/2011

First Asian Market Merit Recognition

Our Manifesto system and i2i® collaborative seating received Merit Recognition in the Product and Industrial Design category at the Design For Asia Awards 2011.  The award for Manifesto (pictured) is...

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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
1978

First Lou Harris Study Published

“The Steelcase National Study of Office Environments: Do They Work?“ summarizes the results of a first-ever Louis Harris & Associates Inc. study commissioned by Steelcase on the effects of the...

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Industry
1969

First NeoCon

The National Exposition of Contract Furnishings (NeoCon) begins at Merchandise Mart in Chicago.

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Industry
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
1991

First to Filter Effluent from Paint Tanks

Steelcase Strafor becomes the first company in Europe with a new unique system of filtration of effluent from the paint tanks.

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Sustainability
10/2001

First U.S. LEED-Certified Manufacturing Plant Opens

Our wood facility in Caledonia, MI  opens and becomes the world's first manufacturing plant to receive LEED Certification for Environmental Excellence by the U.S. Green Building Council. Silver certification...

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Sustainability
circa 1921

First West Coast Sales Made

In the early 1920's David D. Hunting makes the first sales on the West Coast – file cabinets and a few miscellaneous items to various stationery stores and equipment dealers. In one instance, Hunting...

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Company
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
2010

Flexframe Workwall Introduced

Steelcase launches the Flexframe Workwall, which activates vertical space for storage, display and the integration of technology.

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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
1919

Forges de Strasbourg Founded

The French company, Forges de Strasbourg, gets its start as a tool and steel structure manufacturer. Later the company creates a division, Strafor, devoted to the production of office furniture. Strafor...

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Industry
03/02/2012

Fortune’s “Most Admired Companies” 2012

Steelcase Inc. is recognized as one of Fortune magazine's 2012 "Most Admired Companies" in the Home Equipment, Furnishings industry sector. Our ranking is sixth overall in this sector, and is...

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Company
03/2013

Fortune’s “Most Admired Companies” 2013

Fortune Magazine has again recognized Steelcase Inc. as one of its “Most Admired Companies” in the Home Equipment, Furnishings industry sector. This year, Steelcase is ranked in fourth position...

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Company
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
1992

Furniture in 48 Hours Available

Steelcase introduces the first 48-hour delivery program, providing select products twice as fast as our competitors.

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Industry
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
02/25/2013

Gesture Chair Launches

Gesture is the first chair designed to support our interactions with today’s technologies. It was inspired by the movement of the human body and created for the way we work today.  

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Products
1991

Global Presence Expanded

Our global expansion continues. Steelcase facilities are now located on six continents, with manufacturing sites in 11 countries, and products marketed in 68 countries.

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Company
02/08/2016

Global Workplace Report

Steelcase introduces its first Global Report: Engagement + The Global Workplace conducted in 17 countries, receiving positive customer response and media traction globally including in the United States,...

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Company
2008

Green School Makeover

PolyVision® environmental ceramicsteel™ is installed in Kelly Creek Elementary School during ABC Television's Extreme Makeover “Ford Educate to Escape” green school makeover contest. The PolyVision...

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Communities
03/13/2014

Growing a renewable energy future

Steelcase is the first major company in the commercial furniture industry to purchase non-emitting renewable energy certificates (RECs) equivalent to 100% of its global electricity consumption.  Our...

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Sustainability
04/1959

Growing Home Office Market

The Office at Home is a growing phenomenon and a potential market for Steelcase dealers.  Before the advent of the personal computer and fax machine, the home office was used mostly by heads of household...

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Industry
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
07/2013

Innovation Center Opens in Grand Rapids, MI

The Steelcase Innovation Center was created to foster behaviors of an innovation culture such as idea sharing and prototyping, and to leverage global talent. Steelcase researchers studied the process and...

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Company
1996

Investment in IDEO

Steelcase makes an equity investment in IDEO, located in Palo Alto, CA. In 2007, IDEO will begin a 5-year buy-back program.

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Company
12/1990 - 1994

J.K. Myers Elected President & CEO

Jerry K. Myers is elected President and CEO of Steelcase Inc. Myers comes from TRW Corp. in Cleveland. His primary initiative is "World Class Performance" -- a continuous-improvement process with the following...

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Leadership
12/1994 - 02/28/2014

J.P. Hackett Elected President & CEO

James P. Hackett is elected President and CEO. Hackett's history with the Company includes: various sales and marketing positions (1981); regional manager in Houston, Texas (1984); director of national...

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Leadership
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
03/01/2014

Keane becomes 9th CEO

Effective March 1, 2014, Jim Keane becomes the ninth leader in the Company's 102 year history.  Keane replaces Jim Hackett who stepped down after nearly 20 years as President and CEO.  Keane, a Chicago...

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Leadership
1950

Largest Post-War Order

Mutual Life Insurance of New York places the largest post-war order to date. It includes: 1,650 desks; 3,200 chairs; 120 wardrobes; 3,300 letter trays; 1,700 wastebaskets; 420 tables; 100 bookcases; and...

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Company
12/1995

Leadership Community Opens

Under Jim Hackett's direction, the Steelcase Leadership Team abandons their private office, and moves into the Leadership Community -- an open office area designed to promote greater collaboration, faster...

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Company
2001

Lean Manufacturing Efforts Begin

Steelcase begins lean manufacturing efforts in earnest. Based on the Toyota manufacturing model, the program has reduced our global footprint from approximately 17.4 million sq. ft. in fiscal year 2000...

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Company
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
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

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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