A metal trashcan helped launch Grand Rapids, Mich.—based Steelcase from a local product manufacturer into an internationally recognized name in office furnishings. The fireproof Victor wastebasket, introduced in 1914 by the then-named Metal Office Furniture Company, addressed the issue of employee safety in an era when smoking in the office—and the fire danger that can ensue from smoldering ashes near piles of paper—was commonplace.
Since its founding in 1912, the company has continued to research, design, and develop innovative office furnishings and products. The metal desk, standing file cabinet, and lateral file system are just a sampling of products that have become office mainstays. A comprehensive timeline of landmark products—including the more recent Leap Chair and Media:Scape collaborative systems—and company milestones is available on Steelcase’s website.
To recognize its centennial anniversary, Steelcase launched its “100 Dreams, 100 Minds, 100 Years” initiative, a website that includes thoughts and ideas from notable individuals such as Paola Antonelli, Stefan Behnisch, William McDonough, and Toshiko Mori.