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Indiana's business furniture industry.

There's a good chance that the chair you sit in and the desk you write on were made right here in Indiana.

Southwestern Indiana's business-furniture industry has earned national recognition for decades. And now Northeastern Indiana is developing its own cluster of furniture manufacturers.

Here are some of the Indiana companies that may have designed and manufactured your office furniture.


Kimball, headquartered in Jasper, probably is a household word with most people. Kimball was founded in 1950 as The Jasper Corp., a small wood-cabinet manufacturer with fewer than 30 employees. Today, after having acquired thousands of acres of forestland and diversifying its operations into electronics, plastics, pianos and various types of furniture, it employs nearly 8,000 people and has 17 U.S. operations as well as facilities in Canada, the United Kingdom, Austria and Mexico.

Kimball Office Furniture Division is its largest division, comprised of Kimball Office Furniture Co.'s premium seating and casegoods, Artec's open-plan office systems and National Office Furniture Co.'s value-priced office furniture. Kimball, National and Artec are names you might see on your furniture purchases.

Kimball Office Furniture's two most recent introductions are its Mitre Series casegoods and Arpeggio guest seating. Mitre--named for the 45-degree-angle fit of its beveled edges--is sharp-cut, contemporary-looking furniture with multiple applications.

Arpeggio guest seating, having tapered legs and spade feet shapes, can accommodate itself to contemporary, transitional or traditional office designs. Varying arm and back heights and shapes provide individuality and custom fit, while seat width and height are standard to provide consistency.


Versteel, also headquartered in Jasper, finds its niche in custom-contract table manufacturing. Steel-based tables in Versteel's comprehensive line are unique because they're functional, yet have appealing contemporary designs. Versteel's educational and training tables have linking, grouping and configuring capabilities that maximize office space. At the same time, their solid, tilting tops and folding legs minimize storage space.

Versteel's parent company, Ditto Sales Inc., was founded in 1939 as a manufacturer's representative for furniture hardware and finishing supplies. Later, Ditto began selling woodworking machinery, custom-fabricated metal furniture parts and plastic components. By the early 1980s, it started manufacturing its own components for chairs, tables and restaurant furniture. In the mid-1980s, because research indicated a void in the contract marketplace for metal-base tables, Ditto Sales began designing, building and marketing complete tables under the Versteel name.

Uno, Versteel's latest line, is identified by fluted black detail on its bases and its diverse range of glass, laminate and wood surfaces, as well as solid color and metallic powder-coat finishes, that enable custom design. It has been said of Versteel, "You name it, they can make it."


Elkhart-based Domore Corp, founded in 1922, specializes in ergonomic seating. In fact, it lays claim to coining the word "ergonomic" when it invented the seating 50 years ago.

Domore's largest market is intensive-use seating, which are chairs used around-the-clock in air-traffic control rooms, police departments and broadcast stations, to name just a few examples. Intensive-use seating must pass General Services Administration standards. In testing, each chair is subjected to greater-than-normal weight loads, stress, wear and movement cycles and rates. When the GSA set its standards, Domore's intensive-use chair was used as the benchmark for its specifications.

Domore also manufactures Series/System 7 movable office systems, purported to be the most-flexible movable systems in the contract furniture industry.


Nappanee-based Creative Dimensions specializes in high-pressure-laminate office furniture. Founded in 1978 as a division of Holiday Rambler Corp., Creative Dimensions utilizes laminate technology that has been used in Holiday Rambler's other divisions since the 1950s. Creative Dimensions initially manufactured drafting furniture and kitchen cabinets, as well as office furniture, as a way to diversify from the recreational-vehicle industry. Since its founding, Creative Dimensions has eliminated those products to focus on its more successful office-furniture division.

Creative Dimensions recently introduced Classique Edge Creations, a series of laminated modular casegoods, featuring six different natural wood edge treatments. Classique Edge casegoods are freestanding, can be custom-made and are available in a variety of colors.
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Article Details
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Author:Baughman, Nena
Publication:Indiana Business Magazine
Date:Jan 1, 1992
Previous Article:Northwest Indiana update.
Next Article:Working in Northwest Indiana: doing business on Indiana's North Coast.

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