The American Seating Company
The American Seating Company of Racine was incorporated under the laws of New Jersey in 1899 as the American School Furniture Company, but the name was changed to the American Seating Company in 1906. In the former year they took over the plant of the firm of Thomas Kane & Company at Racine, that company having been organized in 1894 by Thomas Kane and business associates. Prior to that date the business was carried on under the style of the Racine Hardware Manufacturing Company. It was instituted and organized about 1876 by F. H. Head, Thomas Kane, E. G. Durant and I. C. Clapp, of Kenosha, Mr. Kane and Mr. Head being Chicago men. This company failed in 1893, but the business was reorganized in 1894 under the firm style of Thomas Kane & Company and since that time they have engaged in the manufacture of furniture. Since the reorganization the business has been carried steadily forward along successful lines and the plant today covers eighteen acres, while the buildings average three stories in height and cover nine acres. Something of the growth of the trade is indicated in the fact that they employ three hundred people, most of whom are skilled laborers. The buildings are of mill construction and they are supplied with a splendid sprinkler system. The output of the plant includes school furniture and veneer opera chairs and the product is today shipped to various parts of the world in addition to many of the chief markets of America. The buildings are well lighted and ventilated and are sanitary in every particular. In the conduct of the business the company has followed a plan that recognizes the individual as such and not as a part of a great machine. Appreciation of faithful service on the part of employees is shown in promotion when opportunity offers. The company pays a good wage and puts forth effort along many lines for the welfare of its workmen. There has been organized the American Study Club for employees and in the plant is provided a dining room, a parlor and reading room. Moreover, this company was the first to establish the Saturday afternoon holiday in Racine and it has ever been their purpose to win cooperation, knowing that best results are attained thereby. Theirs has never been the command of the tyrant to go, but the call of the leader to come, and winning the support and allegiance of their people, they have built up a business of gratifying proportions.
Source: Racine, Belle City of the lakes, and Racine County, Wisconsin : a record of settlement, organization, progress and achievement; Chicago: S. J. Clarke Pub. Co., 1916, 1216 pgs.
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