One of our prime manufacturers, Steelcase, has been celebrating their 100th anniversary this year. To join them in this momentous occasion, we will be hosting a party in a few weeks to commemorate their major achievement and to look towards the next 100 years.


In doing research, my boss, Kristi, found 3 other major American institutions that are also celebrating their centennial. So to help lead up to our event in early November, this blog is going to highlight these outstanding organizations.


But first, we will begin with Steelcase and their story…which started with a garbage can.


Though founded in 1912, Steelcase, then known as “The Metal Office Furniture Co.”, had it’s first big hit in 1914 with the manufacturing of the metal trash can. People had the careless tendency of throwing their cigarettes into the wood cans thus igniting a fire. But the ability of the metal cans to be mass produced at a low cost created an instant success.


Following this came other great pieces, including bond boxes, desks, discovering how to use U-Channels to make lighter yet sturdier products and so much more. They officially changed their name to Steelcase (though the brand name had been used since the early 1920’s) in 1954 and continued on with a history of firsts:


1939 – Industry’s First Roll-Edge Desk

1945 – First to have standard and interchangeable parts

1954 – First to add typewriter auxiliary unit

1961 – First to use acrylic paints

1978 – First Lou Harris Study published on the effects of the office environment

1990 – First to filter effluent paint tanks

2001 – First U.S. LEED-Certified plant opens

2007 – First to have a movable wall system C2C certified (Pathways)


Steelcase’s history and devotion to the industry is an amazing achievement to recognize. B&OI has been selling Steelcase pretty much since we opened our doors in 1934 – so our partnership and much of our success is based off of their innovative products and dedication to their dealerships. Please check out more of their illustrious history here (I like list view best) as well as checking out their great story of the next 100 years here.

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