Nucraft Furniture Co.
1942 - present
1942: Company founded in Grand Rapids
1985: Plant and offices move to nearby Comstock Park
Nucraft was founded as a partnership between George William Schad and B. E. Richardson, both former employees of the Stow & Davis Furniture Company. Schad served as president until 1966 and as chairman of the board after that. In that same year, the Schad family purchased Richardson’s interest in the company and George Dewey Schad, son of George William, became president. He was succeeded as president by his son, Timothy O., in 1985. In 1997, Timothy became chairman and Bob Bockheim president.
Most of the company’s earlier designs were created by the Schads. Mitch Baker, a Nucraft employee, designed the company’s first conference furniture line in 1988.
Nucraft’s first products in the 1940s were walnut letter trays, followed by wastebaskets and costumers, made under the Nucraft name to match Stow & Davis office suites and sold through Stow & Davis dealers. The company continued production of letter trays and waste baskets until 1995.
In the late 1950s, Nucraft introduced its first Danish Modern and International Modern style occasional tables in solid walnut or walnut and metal. From that time to the present a significant portion of Nucraft’s production has been occasional tables, bookcases, sectional bookcases, and credenzas in walnut.
In 1967, the company introduced a modular walnut wall system called “Unit-Wall.” The system was sold with colorful patterned plastic room partitions. A later version sold in the mid-1970s became an entire executive office system in walnut, known as “Group 4.” In 1971, a line of straight and curved acoustical screens for open offices was introduced under the name “Nuspace.” The Nuspace system evolved into a complete post-and-panel open office system with fabric panels and walnut components. Nuspace was discontinued circa 1985. Nucraft began production of traditionally-styles computer desks in walnut or oak circa 1980, at the beginning of the personal computer revolution. Newer versions of these desks are still in production .
Nucraft’s first line of conference room furniture was introduced in 1988. Produced in walnut with traditional styling, it included pieces required for special functions such as visual boards, computer cabinets, and utility carts, in addition to board tables and credenzas. A second conference line named “Duomo,” introduced in 1994, included more accommodations for information technology, including tables wired for phone, data, and local area networks, and video conference cabinets. The 1997 “Satellite Collection” is designed for even more information technology in intensive computer training areas. Currently conference furniture constitutes about 60% of Nucraft’s business.
MARKS AND LABELS
Even though their early trays, wastebaskets, and costumers were sold with Stow & Davis furniture, they were labeled with the Nucraft name. The company trademark, which appeared on labels by at least the early 1960s, was a circle overprinted with “Nucraft” in script over “OF GRAND RAPIDS’ in block letters. A separate logo was devised for the Nuspace line and used in the early and mid-1970s. Circa 1975, the script trademark was replaced by the name “NUCRAFT” in a Block Helvetica font. Between circa 1985 and 1995, a logo consisting of a round, square, and elliptical table top were used with the name trademark.
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.
Transcriber: Rebecca Smith-Hoffman
|Title||Nucraft Furniture Co.|
|Address||Grand Rapids, MI|