S. WEBSTER STONE

Page 537-538 - S. Webster Stone is secretary-treasurer and general manager of the Grand Rapids industrial corporation known at the Furniture Studios, Inc., and the concern represents one of the most notable additions that have been made in recent years to the great industries that mark this city as one of the world’s great and most important centers of furniture manufacturing. The Furniture Studios produce hand-made furniture of the maximum artistic type and of the highest grade of skilled workmanship, and thus the enterprise is one of unique order in a city that issues from its enormous factories the greatest variety of modern furniture of all types. Mr. Stone has thus been a leader in the development of an industry and commercial enterprise that has many unusual features and that through its products represents the finest artistry in period furniture and in special designs of most attractive order. Mr. Stone was born in the city of Detroit, Michigan, on the 24th of October, 1881, and is a son of James H. Stone, who has long been a talented and influential newspaper editor in that city. After attending the public schools of his native city, S. Webster Stone completed in the University of Michigan a course in civil engineering, and upon laving the university, in 1900, he took a position with the Solvay Process Company in Detroit. In 1903 he came to Grand Rapids and engaged in the advertising business, and in this connection he published classified telephone books for Grand Rapids and other Michigan cities. Under the title of the S. Webster Stone advertising Company he built up a very extensive business that ranked with the leading enterprises of the kind in Michigan, and after the admission of John L. Greene to partnership the title of Stone & Greene was adopted. In 1913 George R. Myercord, of Chicago, discovered and developed a process of decorating furniture by a method designated as oil-relief decalcomania. This process made possible the reproduction of paintings by lithography and the transferring of the beautiful designs to any smooth surface – this being a wonderful improvement on the decalcomania process that had been in vogue many years ago. The firm of Stone & Greene assumed the sales agency for the new process in the United States and Canada, and with clear vision of the wonderful possibilities in utilizing this process in the production of decorated furniture, the two progressive young men determined to engage in the manufacture of furniture of this type. They gained the requisite financial co-operation and organized and incorporated the Furniture Studios, in 1917. George R. Myercord and A. O. Johnson, prominent Chicago financiers, became associated with the new enterprise. Mr. Greene was made and continues president of the corporation, and S. Webster Stone he has been from the beginning the secretary, treasurer and general manager. Recently Arthur A. Teal, former superintendent of Stickley Brothers, furniture manufacturers in Grand Rapids, became identified with the Furniture Studios, and he has charge, in the latter connection, of designing and production. Mr. Stone being the financial executive of the corporation. The original headquarters of the Furniture Studios were in the old Robinson manufacturing plant, 120 Logan street, southwest, and early operations were carried on with a corps of twelve employes. The concern engaged in the manufacture of hand-made decorated furniture for living rooms, and the popular appreciation of the fine products caused the business so to expand that in 1919 it became necessary to obtain larger quarters for the manufacturing. Removal was made in that year to quarters at 9-15 Library street, and in 1923 the company purchased the former plant of the McCleod Furniture Company, the same having been remodeled and equipped with the requisite facilities and the Furniture Studios having established headquarters in this modern plant in 1924. This progressive corporation employs the highest-paid mechanics in the city – skilled craftsmen from Japan, Germany, Italy and England, as well as the United States, being represented in the personnel of the ninety employes. The Furniture Studios are recognized as representing the ultimate in the production of the highest grade of hand-made furniture and as an authority on furniture decoration and finishing. In the factory are reproduced the finest specimens of the old masters in this line of mechanic art, and here the manufacturing itself is done in the same careful way as was that of the period in which the various designs were originated. Designers and decorators of the highest skill are employed, and there is constant and ever increasing demand for the beautiful and substantial products of this important Grand Rapids manufactory. Mr. Greene is the vital and resourceful sales manager for the concern, and has been prominently identified with the development of the large and prosperous business.


Transcriber:  Nancy Myers
Created: 13 November 2002
URL: http://kent.migenweb.net/white1924/personal/stonesw.html