Showers Brother Furniture

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Around 1869 William and James Showers bought out their father’s struggle furniture business. They were later joined in the business by their younger brother Hull. Showers Brother Furniture grew rapidly and the brothers decided early on that they “were not interested in manufacturing furniture for retail sale or in operating a furniture showroom … Instead their new goal was to mass-manufacture wholesale furniture to sell in other cities” (Krause, 2012, p. 48). As demand increased, their furniture would be sold not just in distant stores but also from mail order companies like Sears and Roebuck. The Showers Brother Furniture factory produced everything from raw materials rather than relying on suppliers. This principle was emblazed in their company slogan “From the Tree to the Trade.” They employed and developed new technology along the way. They were one of the first Bloomington businesses to switch from steam to electricity and they invented the process of laminating furniture on a large scale. …show more content…

However, soon afterwards, many furniture companies began moving south to take advantage of cheaper labor and trucking was quickly becoming the preferred shipping method. The Showers Brothers could not adapt quickly to either change being heavily vested in both the Bloomington community and the train transportation. As a result, the company found it increasingly difficult to compete. The Showers Brothers Furniture Company was sold to Stork Line Furniture of Chicago in 1955 who operated the factory for three years before ultimately closing the plant it in 1958. Thereafter the buildings were sold to Indiana University which used them mainly for storage before selling the Factory Number 1 building to the City of Bloomington in the 1990s. The City undertook a major and successful renovation the building turning it into a prize landmark and current City

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