Here’s a beautiful example of a 1978 Gunlocke chair we recently acquired – the wood is solid walnut and the upholstery is in good shape.
Here’s a bit of history on the company:
William Henry Gunlocke entered the chair business in Binghamton in 1888 as a wood finisher and rose to the position of factory superintendent. He and four other men came to the village of Wayland in western New York in 1902 in response to a newspaper advertisement placed by the civic fathers seeking to fill a vacant factory building. The W.H. Gunlocke Chair Co. began production there with less than a dozen employees.
Gunlocke’s reputation for quality designs and craftsmanship was due in part to its extensive use of steambending. By 1912 an entire department had been devoted to this time-honored but exacting process, which had been abandoned by many manufacturers in favor of less costly bandsawing. Gunlocke’s practice was to air-dry wood for six months to one year before using it. This process, plus kiln drying, was essential to producing the company’s durable furniture, including seating made to last for decades.
Although the company’s furniture was initially designed, manufactured, and merchandised primarily for household applications, it found a growing market in business settings and began to specialize in furniture for business and government offices, as well as for the nation’s schools. Woodrow Wilson became the first of a long line of presidents to use one of its chairs.
In 1972, Gunlocke added a full line of high-quality library furniture. In 1973 it had showrooms in Los Angeles, New York City, and Dallas, as well as Chicago. Its product line in 1974, aside from seating, desks, credenzas, and library furniture, included conference and side tables. These products were made primarily from solid walnut, maple, and white oak, as well as veneers of these woods. In 1977 Gunlocke introduced a new desk series and three chair styles by leading designers.