Indiana's business furniture industry.

Author:Baughman, Nena

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...

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