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Hollis S. Baker

Hollis S. Baker

January 30th, 2013

After graduating from the University of Michigan in 1910, Hollis Baker joined the business founded by his father, Siebe Baker. He became president of the company in 1925 after the death of his father.


The founder of Baker Furniture, Siebe Baker, started out making sash and doors and other woodworking requirements for builders in Allegan. Later he produced the popular “combination desk and bookcase.” Constructed of Golden Oak they sold at two for $10; this was in 1893.

After graduating from the University of Michigan in 1910, Hollis Siebe Baker joined the business, becoming president of the company in 1925 following the death of his father.

1925 was the year of the Paris Exposition, which gave birth to “Moderne,” the overnight sensation of the furniture world. Under its new president, Baker was one of the first American furniture companies to experiment with this radically new design.

In 1933 operations were moved from Allegan to a large plant in Holland, but the design, executive offices and showrooms were established in Grand Rapids.

The old Golden Oak combination desk, once a best seller, was long-gone, as Hollis Baker loved beautiful furniture. He concentrated on fine furniture, even during the depression. Many manufacturers, while conceding that Baker’s products were of outstanding quality, would advise, “Yes, but it can only be sold to a few top bracket decorators; you can’t build up a large volume on it.”

But Baker did build a large volume on it, and by the 1950s the company that once made “two for $10 desks” was a $5,000,000 business famous for the quality of its fine furniture.

Full Details

TitleHollis S. Baker
KeywordsWYCE; radio; Grand Rapids; Historical Commission; history; Hollis Baker; furniture
Pubdate StringJanuary 30th, 2013

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