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Events

Date Title Category Image
03/16/1912

MOFC Incorporated

The Metal Office Furniture Co. is incorporated after Peter M. Wege moves to Grand Rapids, Michigan.  With the help of 11 investors, Wege's dream of competing in "The Furniture City" amongst wood furniture...

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Company
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
1977

Middle East Dealer Organization Established

Steelcase is the first major U.S. office furniture manufacturer to establish an extensive dealer distribution organization in the Middle East, covering Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates and Jordan.

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Industry
1987

Meyer May House Opens

Steelcase opens the fully restored Meyer May House, located in Grand Rapids, Michigan, to the public. Designed for Meyer S. May by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1908 and completed in 1909, the house is an outstanding...

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Communities
1976

Lighting Evaluation Laboratory Opens

The first Lighting Evaluation Laboratory is established by Steelcase in Grand Rapids to find ways to cut office energy costs.

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Sustainability
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
06/1972

Designs in Wood Introduced

With the purchase of Hardwood Designs in California and plans to build a wood furniture plant in North Carolina, Steelcase prepares to introduce Designs in Wood.

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Company
1948

Dealer Office Planning Assistance Pioneered

Hunting-Roberts Co., the California distributor of Steelcase furniture, pioneers office planning, establishing a new area of dealer assistance that is soon followed by the entire industry.

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Industry
1922

Dealer Network Launched

Metal Office Furniture Co. is one of the first companies known to build an official dealer organization. Our first dealer is in St. Louis, Missouri. By 1968 we will have nearly 900 dealers in all 50 states...

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Industry
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
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
12/01/1954

Company Name Change: Steelcase Inc.

The Company name officially becomes Steelcase Inc., differentiating it from competitors who use variations of “metal office furniture” in their names. This change allows us to capitalize on our successful...

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Company
2009

Collaboration Solutions Introduced

Steelcase launches a set of collaborative solutions including: c:scape®, media:scape® (pictured), i2i®, and cobi®. These products are designed to help people connect more easily with each other and...

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Products
1989

CDC Opens: Context® Furniture Installed

The Steelcase Corporate Development Center, a pyramid-shaped facility for research and development, opens.  This building was designed to increase collaboration and includes Steelcase's new curvilinear...

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Company
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
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
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
1977

Begin Testing Speech Privacy

The Acoustics Lab opens in Grand Rapids – making Steelcase the first to test speech privacy in simulated open office conditions.

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Industry
07/1961

Acrylic Paints Introduced

Steelcase begins to use acrylic paints on products, a first within the industry. A water-based paint, acrylic is more environmentally friendly than the oil-based paints previously used on our lines.

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Sustainability
1930

Acquisition of Doehler Metal Furniture Company

Metal Office Furniture Co. acquires Doehler Metal Furniture Co. This acquisition enables us to remain solvent during the Depression by manufacturing metal household and hospital furniture (our first foray...

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Company
03/14/1912 - 01/15/1914

A.W. Hompe Elected President

Two days prior to the official founding of the Metal Office Furniture Co.,  Alexander W. Hompe, president of The Macey Co., is elected president and chairman of the board.  He resigns in 1914, handing...

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Leadership
1983

44th Street Corporate Headquarters Opens

Steelcase's new Corporate Headquarters opens in Grand Rapids and is lauded as "a textbook example of how to organize human resources in the optimum work environment."  Located at 901 44th Street SE, the...

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Company
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
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
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

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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