loading background

Grand Rapids in 1856

Scene of early Grand Rapids viewed from the...

Grand Rapids Showcase Co.

1901 - 1926

Headquarters and main factory:  Grand Rapids, Michigan

Branch factory: Portland, Oregon

Branch offices and showrooms:  Chicago, Boston, and New York

SEE ALSO Grand Rapids Store Equipment Company; Welch-Wilmarth Company (Listed below)


1901: Grand Rapids Showcase organizes

1913: Grand Rapids Showcase claims to manufacture more retail furnishings by volume than the combined total of tis three leading competitors.  Company also claims to ship more furniture than any other manufacturer in Grand Rapids

1926 Merges with Welch-Wilmarth Company; name changes to Grand Rapids Store Equipment Company


Manufacturer of furniture and equipment for drug, confectionery, cigar, clothing, and department stores, including showcases for hats, gloves, and dress goods; dress form cases, cash register stands, vestibule display cases, cloak and suit cases, tables for clothing, dry goods, bargains, cashier’s desks, and clothing cabinets.  The company also maintained a special store planning department, which provided custom design and layout services to its retailer customers.


Grand Rapids Store Equipment Company

Main offices and factory: Grand Rapids, Michigan. Additional factories: Portland, Oregon; Baltimore, Maryland; New York, New York, Los Angeles, California.


1926: Company organized with the merger of Grand Rapids Showcase Co. and Welch – Wilmarth Co.

1955: Company is purchased by Weber Showcase Co. of California


Claimed to be the largest designer and manufacturer of dry goods, department, and specialty store furniture and equipment in the world, including showcases, counters, shelving, wardrobes, cabinets, wrapping tables, and desks.


During the 1940s the trademark was simply the elongated block letters “GR”.

Welch - Wilmarth Corp.

Grand Rapids, Michigan

Manufacturer of showcases and equipment for stores.

Predecessor to Grand Rapids Store Equipment Co.


1921: Welch Manufacturing and Wilmarth Showcase run joint design service.

1926: Formed by merger of Welch Manufacturing Co. and Wilmarth Showcase Co.

1927: Name changed to Grand Rapids Store Equipment Co.


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


Full Details

TitleGrand Rapids Showcase Co.
Year Opened1901
Year Closed1926

Like Us on Facebook
site by GRCMC