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Rockford Cabinet Company circa 1888
The Rockford Cabinet Company founded in the water power district at 309 and 311 South Main Street in 1880 the company was incorporated in 1884. In 1890 the company moved to a new building on the West End located on Factory Street (now Preston) and Independence Avenue, the building burned to the ground in a spectacular fire on September 22, 1895. After the fire the company found temporary quarters back in the water power in the offices of the Eclipse Gas Stove Building while searching for a permanent location.
A suitable location was soon found when the Rockford Cabinet Company rented a portion of the East Rockford Mantel Company at 18th Avenue and 12th Street. They would absorb the mantel company in 1905 while The Rockford Veneer & Panel Company was absorbed in 1906. Oscar Landstrom who was born in Tranas, Smaland, Sweden came to the United States `at the age of 14 with his parents on May 2, 1893 and started working at the Skandia Furniture Company on North Second Street on May 5. After leaving the Skandia firm he was employed at the Third National Bank for a number of years. He then joined Meade’s retail furniture store for two years and later found employment with the Forest City Furniture Company. Following that job he spent three years working for a lumber business in Mississippi. Returning to Rockford he became a salesman for the Rockford Cabinet Company. In the fall of 1915 Landstrom purchased the Rockford Cabinet Company.
Oscar Landstrom who was born in Tranas, Smaland, Sweden came to the United States `at the age of 14 with his parents on May 2, 1893 and started working at the Skandia Furniture Company on North Second Street on May 5. After leaving the Skandia firm he was employed at the Third National Bank for a number of years. He then joined Meade’s retail furniture store for two years and later found employment with the Forest City Furniture Company. Following that job he spent three years working for a lumber business in Mississippi. Returning to Rockford he became a salesman for the Rockford Cabinet Company. In the fall of 1915 Landstrom purchased the Rockford Cabinet Company.
The Rockford Cabinet Company building was expanded in 1920 and again in 1923 when construction was underway on a four-story building extending from the old plant west to Eleventh Street, as was the construction of a new powerhouse and heating system. In 1925 another four-story addition was added on to the east side the building. A rebuilding of the older structure was also completed around this time. The expansion plans were prepared by notable Rockford architects Peterson & Johnson. The factory building was considered one of the largest furniture factories in the world at the time and gained national attention. In 1923 the Rockford Bookcase Company became part of Rockford Cabinet family.
Landstrom would rename the Rockford Cabinet Company to Landstrom Furniture Company in 1927.
A few of the items manufactured by the Rockford Cabinet Company
(See Rockford Cabinet Company above) Oscar Landstrom would rename the Rockford Cabinet Company at 1916 Eleventh Street to Landstrom Furniture Company in 1927. Landstrom continued to manufacture bedroom and dining room suites, secretaries and other furniture items. In 1928 the company would become part of Consolidated Industries which consisted of the Haddorff Piano Company and Free Sewing Machine Company. (More on Consolidated Industries coming to this site later.) Consolidated Industries was hit hard by the depression and in 1940 and pieces of the company were sold off and Landstrom retained the Landstrom Furniture Company and purchased the Superior Furniture Company
Superior Furniture Company was organized in 1905 by P. O. Upgraph, President; J. E. Sandberg, Vice President; A. W. Mann, Secretary and Treasurer. The company manufactured dining room furniture of the highest quality made in the Mission, Colonial and other Popular Styles in Sawed Oak, Mahogany, and American Walnut. In 1912 the company erected a new building at 2404 Seventh Street (Seventh Street and Twenty Third Avenue). In 1941 the company was sold to Oscar Landstrom who would rename the company to Landstrom Furniture Corporation in 1945. The Landstrom Furniture Company building at was sold to the nearby J. L. Clark Company for use as a warehouse in April 1957. The company would lease space from Clark for final assembling, finishing, packaging and shipping. In April 1958, the Landstrom Company was dissolved. Their former Seventh Street building continued to be used by the J. L. Clark Company until July 1972 when the building was demolished and Clark built a more modern building on the site.
Rockford Frame and Fixture Company, located on Twenty-Second Street at Thirteenth Avenue. Established in 1889 and incorporated in 1901 by A. G. Hoffman. After his death in a bicycle accident, his wife Anna became company president. Later Edward J. Hoffman would become president and secretary; Andrew Gilruth, vice president and Edward Carlson as treasurer and manager. The company made a wide range of novelty furniture and advertised some of it as the "EFF & EFF" Line to capitalize on the company's initials. Marion Garmory would become the president of the company In 1914. The company would go bankrupt in 1917. The Rockford Republic Furniture Company was formed when they bought the company’s assets.
Rockford Republic Furniture Company was born when it purchased the assets of the bankrupt Rockford Frame and Fixture Company. Rockford Republic Furniture was located at 1345 - 22nd Avenue. The factory contained over 100,000 square feet of floor space in which was manufactured medium and high grade dining rooms suites in genuine mahogany and genuine walnut. They also produce novelty furniture and sewing machine cabinets. The company had modern motor driven machines in all departments and they manufactured their own electricity to run the plant. They would remain in business until 1974.
Rockford National Furniture Company, 2400 Kishwaukee Street. Established in 1907 by C. F. Johnson, President; P. H. Palmer, Vice President; August P. Peterson, Secretary and G. Adolph Peterson as Treasurer. This building is still in existence at the corner of Kishwaukee Street and 23rd Avenue and the name can still be seen on the facade even though the company closed in 1970.
Rockford World Furniture Company, 2400 Eleventh Street at Twenty Third Avenue. Established in 1915 by Otto Grantz, Albert Lawson, E. W. Swenson and C. J. Lundberg. They manufactured high grade dining room chairs and tables. The building itself was a departure from the usual factory building having a fancy brick front and spacious landscaped lawn space. The company would expand the building several times over the course of its history. The company was one of the first to install wheels on the bottom of table legs on some of their models, which became a popular and useful tool. Rockford World Furniture Company would be dissolved in 1934. The building is still in existence.
Rockford Desk and Furniture Company, 1102 North Second Street.
Superior Mirror Company, Seventh Street at Twenty Third Avenue. Incorporated in 1910 by E. A. Clark - President, P. O. Ugarph - Vice President and M. L. Kellstrom as Secretary and Treasurer. Manufactured plain and beveled mirrors, plate glass and glass specialties and glass tops for tables, buffets and dressers - many supplied to the local furniture manufacturers of the time. As the automobile trade escalated they also began the manufacture of auto windshields, which were regarded as some of the best produced, to the automobile manufacturers. It appears that the company ceased doing business in the early 1940’s.
Weiman Furniture Company, 2578 Eleventh Street, 1940. The Weiman Company moving here in 1935 from Chicago, leased the old Rockford Union Furniture company building until 1940 when they built the new, large modern plant above. The manufactured Weiman "Heirloom Quality" Occasional Furniture and also had a television cabinet division. They would remain in business in Rockford until 1968.
Rockford Mantel and Furniture Company, Eighteenth Avenue and Fourteenth Street. Organized in 1890.
Excel Manufacturing Company, 1107 Seminary Street. Organized in 1907 by Edward Carlson, President; A. H. Carlson, Vice President; J. A. Carlstrom, Secretary and Treasurer. The company located in one of the old buildings vacated by The National Syrup Company after they relocated out of state. Excel manufactured high grade Excel Brand dining room extension tables and dining room furniture. They would be joined by other furniture manufacturing companies in the other syrup company buildings including The Rockford Mattress Company, Rockford Upholstering Company and the Old Colony Chair Company. Excel would become part of the Winnebago Manufacturing Company in 1928 and operated as a subsidiary.
Mechanics Furniture Company, 1100 Seminary Street. Organized 1890 by L. M. Noling, John Ek, Jonas Peters and A. P. Floberg. Manufactured desks, secretaries, cabinets, highboys and dining room furniture. Mechanics would close in 1934.
Litton Veneer Company was incorporated in 1913 under the management of J. B. Litton. They would erect a modern veneer and lumber mill in 1917 at Tenth Avenue at Tenth Street. The company supplied veneers and lumber to many large furniture and piano companies. Around 1925 Litton Veneer became Illinois Veneer Company and remained in business until the early 1930’s
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