- Mar 2023
Muskegon Heritage Museum of Business and Industry · rsdoSptneoiy4 720fhi2tg41m80ga8Ju2542l, 71510glu065h1t196m9t · Shared with PublicBrowne-Morse CompanyIn 1907, former Shaw Walker executive Frank Morse partnered with retired plumbing dealer Richard Browne to start a new office equipment manufacturing company. They began in a small factory on Barney Street in Muskegon Heights. Browne-Morse quickly expanded over the next couple of years, relocating to the former Grand Rapids Desk Co building on Broadway. They would remain there for the next 70 years. The image shows the factory as it looked in 1911.
Attached image of the factory has a sign across two sides of the building that repeats the words: "Quality Cabinets Browne-Morse Company"
Frank Morse, a former Shaw-Walker executive, partnered with retired plumbing dealer Richard Browne in 1907 to form the Browne-Morse Company which would manufacture office equipment.
- Frank Morse
- Grand Rapids Desk Co.
- office furniture
- Browne-Morse Co.
- Richard Browne
- Muskegon Michigan
OurNew "400"SeriesNo.400(likecut)hasdeepdrawerarrangedwithVERTICALFILINGEQUIPMENT,writingbednotbrokenbytypewriter,whichdisappearsindust-proofcompartment.GUNNDESKSaremadein250differentpatterns,inallwoodsandfinishes,fittedwith ourtimesavingDROP-FRONTPigeonholebox.Ifyoudesireanup-to-datedeskofanydescriptionandbestpossiblevalueforyourmoneygetaGunn.Ourreference-TheUser-TheManwiththeGunn."Soldbyallleadingdealersorshippeddirectfrom thefactory.Sendforcatalogueof desksandfilingdevices-mailedFREE."AwardedGoldMedal,World'sFair,St.Louis."GUNNFURNITURECO.,GrandRapids,Mich.MakersofGunnSec-tionalBookCases
Gunn Desks and filing cabinets
Example advertisement of a wooden office desk with pigeonholes and a small card index box on the desktop as well as a drawer pull with a typewriter sitting on it.
A fascinating combination of office furniture types in 1906!
The Adjustable Table Company of Grand Rapids, Michigan manufactured a combination table for both telephones and index cards. It was designed as an accessory to be stood next to one's desk to accommodate a telephone at the beginning of the telephone era and also served as storage for one's card index.
Given the broad business-based use of the card index at the time and the newness of the telephone, this piece of furniture likely was not designed as an early proto-rolodex, though it certainly could have been (and very well may have likely been) used as such in practice.
I totally want one of these as a side table for my couch/reading chair for both storing index cards and as a temporary writing surface while reading!
This could also be an early precursor to Twitter!
Folks have certainly mentioned other incarnations: - annotations in books (person to self), - postcards (person to person), - the telegraph (person to person and possibly to others by personal communication or newspaper distribution)
but this is the first version of short note user interface for both creation, storage, and distribution by means of electrical transmission (via telephone) with a bigger network (still person to person, but with potential for easy/cheap distribution to more than a single person)
- card index for business
- zettelkasten boxes
- Adjustable Table Company
- intellectual history
- office furniture
- Gunn Furniture Co.
- evolution of technology
- satelite stands
- Grand Rapids Michigan
- desktop applications
- user interface
- card index filing cabinets