William Henry Gunlocke entered the chair business in Binghamton, New York, in 1888 as a wood finisher and rose to the position of factory superintendent. He and four other men came to the village of Wayland in western New York in 1902 in response to a newspaper advertisement placed by the civic fathers seeking to fill a vacant factory building. The W.H. Gunlocke Chair Co. began production there with less than a dozen employees. Its initial offerings included bedroom, library, lounge, and rocker chairs.
Gunlocke's reputation for quality designs and craftsmanship was due in part to its extensive use of steambending. By 1912 an entire department had been devoted to this time-honored but exacting process, which had been abandoned by many manufacturers in favor of less costly bandsawing. Gunlocke's practice was to air-dry wood for six months to one year before using it. This process, plus kiln drying, was essential to producing the company's durable furniture, including seating made to last for decades. Although the company's furniture was initially designed, manufactured, and merchandised primarily for household applications, it found a growing market in business settings and began to specialize in furniture for business and government offices, as well as for the nation's schools. Woodrow Wilson became the first of a long line of American Presidents to use one of its chairs. The high-back chair designed in 1960 for President John F. Kennedy has become known as the "Oval Office Chair," and its ergonomic design and meticulous craftsmanship remain unsurpassed for comfort, support, and refined elegance.
Your home and your office are reflections of you. Your choice of a chair is important because you are important. Because your efficiency is important. The fact of the matter is that your working comfort and efficiency are dependent in large part on the chair in which you spend up to half your waking day. Think how quickly you would reject a mattress that failed to provide sleeping comfort. Perhaps it's time to upgrade your seating to first class. Reward your success with the chair that has a history of seating extraordinary men.
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