American Seating was originally founded as Grand Rapids School Furniture in 1886. Our first product set our history of innovation in motion: the combined student desk and chair unit. When introduced, it was the first of its kind, and the design revolutionized classroom seating. This was the first in an ever-growing list of breakthroughs. The success of that initial product launch helped us expand over the years into other major markets, including Education, Entertainment, Sports, Transportation and Office.
We first took to the stage in the entertainment market with our McPherson Opera House, in McPherson, KS. Shortly thereafter in 1893, we delivered the tilt-back opera chair, the first of its kind. Today, we are redefining seating technology with classic designs for modern applications ranging from outdoor sports stadiums, indoor arena and convention seating to performing arts centers, lecture halls and auditoriums. We constantly challenge ourselves to build product lines that incorporate optional features to suit varying budgets, aesthetic and design requirements. You’ll find our seating solutions in many of the country’s most impressive venues.
American Seating has been a league leader in sports seating solutions since 1912, with our first installation at the famous Fenway Park in Boston. Today, we’re supporting fans of the home team in over half of all Major League baseball parks, as well as dozens of other famous sports venues.
We have been developing innovative solutions for the transportation industry since 1936. Our seating products quickly gained a reputation for unparalleled function, durability and value. Our cantilevered bus seat was a first for public transportation when introduced in the 1950s. By the 1960s, we emerged as an industry leader, a position we maintain today that spans city service bus, motorcoach, demand response and rail transportation.
As corporate America has evolved into a more fluid environment, needs have changed. We saw the need for flexible spaces that looked and performed like attractive offices, but could be put up, taken down and even spun around immediately. With features like stackable panels and snap-out inserts or our hidden wiring harnesses, we gained a reputation for being proactive in our approach. Our contract office furniture division was born out of a need for modern office workers to have instant access to all the accoutrements they wanted, at a reasonable price.
We reflect on our rich history to show a track record of success, and to learn from our experience and continue to deliver the quality expected from every American Seating product or solution.