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Grand Rapids, Michigan: Furniture City (Images of America Series)
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Grand Rapids, Michigan: Furniture City (Images of America Series)

by Norma Lewis
 

William Haldane opened a cabinet shop in 1836, 14 years before Grand Rapids incorporated. Other furniture companies followed: Berkey and Gay, Widdicomb, Sligh, Hekman, and Phoenix were among those taking advantage of the Grand River for transportation and power, the area’s abundant hardwood supply, and a growing immigrant labor pool. The furniture soon

Overview


William Haldane opened a cabinet shop in 1836, 14 years before Grand Rapids incorporated. Other furniture companies followed: Berkey and Gay, Widdicomb, Sligh, Hekman, and Phoenix were among those taking advantage of the Grand River for transportation and power, the area’s abundant hardwood supply, and a growing immigrant labor pool. The furniture soon attracted national attention. In 1876, the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition proved conclusively that a river town in Michigan had indeed earned the title “Furniture City.” Presidents Herbert Hoover, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, and Dwight D. Eisenhower all worked at Grand Rapids–made desks. Fifteen manufacturers joined forces to build 1,000 Handley Page bombers during
World War I. The Japanese Instrument of Surrender was signed on September 2, 1945, at a table made in Grand Rapids. Despite fires, floods, strikes, depressions, and wars, Grand Rapids led the industry until the 1950s and 1960s, when the factories began moving to North Carolina. Today the area, along with nearby Holland and Zeeland, dominates the office furniture industry.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780738552002
Publisher:
Arcadia Publishing SC
Publication date:
05/28/2008
Series:
Images of America Series
Pages:
128
Sales rank:
1,325,770
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.30(d)

Meet the Author


Norma Lewis lives in a Grand Rapids suburb, where she writes humor, travel, and feature articles for national and regional magazines. She enjoys historic research and is the author of Going for the Gold, a juvenile account of the 1898 Yukon gold rush. Images in this book came from corporate archives, the Grand Rapids Public Library, the Public Museum of Grand Rapids, and private collections.

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