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Grand Rapids in 1856

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Furniture City History.org


Gunn Furniture Co.

1893 - 1953

Grand Rapids, Michigan

Successor to Gunn Folding Bed Co.

SEE ALSO Bergsma Brothers, Inc. (Listed below)

COMPANY HISTORY

1874: William S. Gunn adds a retail furniture department to his hardware business.

1890: Gunn Folding Bed Co. is established and incorporated.

1893: Company changes name to The Gunn Furniture Co.

1949: Company purchased by Edsko Hekman and a group of associates.

1953: Company acquired by Bergsma Brothers, Inc.

PERSONNEL

William S. Gunn served as the company’s founder and first president. After his death in 1909, the general management of the company passed to his son, William A. Gunn.

PRODUCTS

The company’s initial products were folding beds. As early as 1893 folding beds began to decline in popularity, so the company changed its name and its products to roll-top desks, sectional bookcases, letter filing devices, and similar goods. By 1896 the company boasted that it produced 80 styles of desks. In the 1910s and ‘20s the company produced sectional bookcases that included a module with pigeonholes and a fold-down desktop. Cases were made in walnut, mahogany, imitation mahogany, and quartered oak. In the mid-1920s Gunn introduced its trademark “Lino” desks and cafeteria tables, which had wood frames and black linoleum surfaces.

MARKS AND LABELS

As early as 1914, Gunn began to mark its furniture with the work “GUNN” in upper-case block letters, underlined on the bottom and slightly concave in their alignment on top. Desks and tables in the “Lino” line also are marked with the work “LINO” in block letters, with the foot of the “L” underlining the other letters. In the 1930s the trademark was modernized with a large upper case “G,” with part of the “G” underlining the “UNN”.

 

Bergsma Brothers, Inc.

1940 – 1985

Grand Rapids, Michigan

Manufacturer of novelties and furniture initially.

COMPANY HISTORY       

1940: Company founded in Denver, Colorado.

1945: Begins manufacturing furniture. First listed as furniture manufacturers.

1953: Purchases Gunn Furniture Co.

1954: Purchases Imperial Furniture Co.

1976: Becomes a division of Norlin Music, Inc.

1985: Company closes.

PRODUCTS

After 1954 Bergsma added tables to their line. During the 1970s and 1980s they made furniture and cabinetry on contract for other companies, including stereo speakers, armories, and entertainment centers, as well as case clocks for Hamilton, and organ cabinets for Lowry Organ Cabinets.

The source, with permission of the author, is Grand Rapids Furniture: The Story of America’s Furniture City by Christian G. Carron, published by the Grand Rapids Public Museum. 1998. 

Full Details

TitleGunn Furniture Co.
AddressGrand Rapids, MI
Year Opened1893
Year Closed1953
Also Known AsGunn Folding Bed Co.
Locationlocation on map


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