Something New: Steelcase Shell Chairs

Steelcase is a famous name in the world of office furniture, but before it was Steelcase it was The Metal Furniture Co. It all started back in 1912 in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Two years into business The Metal Furniture Co. got its first patient for the steel wastebasket. A piece of office furniture made out of metal was a big deal at the time because office fire safety was on every one's mind. The Triangle Shirt Factory fire occurred just a few years prior and new office safety requirements were being instated across the country.  
The 10th floor of the Triangle Shirt Factory Co. after the fire. 2 
Metal office furniture was the way to go and The Metal Furniture Co. led the way. Since I'm from Boston I have to mention that the Custom House Tower (Boston's original skyscraper) received The Metal Furniture Co.'s first sale of steel desks. 

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By 1921 "Steelcase" was the company's trademark and metal desks were being designed with the inspiration of the famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright. These metal desks were part of the S.C.Johnson and Company building design by Wright and built in Racine, Wisconsin 1936 to 1939.
Metal desk designed with the inspiration of F.L.Wright and used in the S.C.Johnson headquarters building.

The revolutionary S.C.Johnson building with its tree-like columns allowing light into the interior of the workspace and providing for, what was thought, a more creative working environment.

Steelcase continued to be a part of the pioneering office furniture design community introducing us to the idea of the now beloved and hated cubical and systems furniture. 

Steelcase is still on the forefront of office furniture design designing new office systems, desks and chairs, but the company is also enjoying its history once more as people learn the value of their quality pieces. Vintage Steelcase tanker desk are one of our favorites. Yes, we did have one of the these desks at one point but it never made it to our website because my brother was quick to claim it.
We're always looking for more though and what we recently came upon were this pair of vintage Steelcase office chairs. The tags on the chairs show they are original Steelcase and were purchased by the Pennsylvania Bell Telephone Company in 1978 (a fine year to be born I must say).  One of the chairs swivels and tilts and the other is stationary. The orange upholstery is obviously a statement, but a fun one. And we have to say, they are really comfortable!

 You can see more about these chairs by clicking the seating icon on our furnishings page: http://www.ermillerdesign.com/Furnishings.html.

1 steelcase.com
3 shorpy.com
4 brandonferney.blogspot.com
5 archdaily.com
6 getback.com