Posts tagged ‘Company’

July 13, 2017

Herman Miller

Action Office

Herman Miller, Inc., based in Zeeland, Michigan, is a major American manufacturer of office furniture, equipment and home furnishings. It is notable as one of the first companies to produce modern furniture and, under the guidance of Design Director George Nelson, is likely the most prolific and influential producer of furniture of the modernist style. Among classic Herman Miller products are the Equa chair, Aeron chair, Noguchi table, Marshmallow sofa, and the Eames Lounge Chair.

Herman Miller is credited with the invention of the office cubicle (originally known as the ‘Action Office II’) in 1968 under then-director of research Robert Propst. Herman Miller holds a unique position among furniture manufacturers for having cultivated the talents of a large number of modernist designers, producing a significant number of pieces that are now considered icons of industrial design.

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January 19, 2017

Jorg Gray

JG6500

Jorg Gray is a California-based brand of men’s and women’s watches. They are best known as the favored watch of U.S. President Barack Obama and the U.S. Secret Service. Jorg Gray was established as a watch line in 1998 by Logomark, Inc. based in Tustin, California. Originally Jorg Gray timepieces were manufactured as a high end promotional item for corporations and federal agencies. Jorg Gray became a retail only brand in 2009. The company has since expanded their line and launched a women’s collection in late 2013. There are currently over 250 authorized dealers the U.S. and the brand can be found in retail stores in Asia, Europe, the Caribbean, and South America.

President Obama received his original JG6500, the ‘official’ model of the Secret Service in 2007 as a birthday gift from his security team and has been documented wearing it. Shortly thereafter Jorg Gray created a commemorative edition of the timepiece. Each watch comes with an individualized serial number and an inscription, laser engraved on the case back. Other government agencies around the world, including the London Metropolitan Police, now also wear watches made by Jorg Gray.

 

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October 26, 2016

Birdwell Beach Britches

birdwell

Birdwell, makers of Birdwell Beach Britches, is an American surf clothing company headquartered in Santa Ana, California. Founded by Carrie Birdwell Mann in 1961, the company manufactures and sells customized heavy-duty swimsuits, which are sold internationally. With four basic models, various fabrics, including Surfnyl, Tectyl, heavy nylon, sailcloth, and canvas, more than 40 colors, and various other options, the combinations that can be created are nearly endless. The company’s motto is ‘We don’t build 1000 things. We build one thing 1000 ways.’

The swimsuits themselves, which resemble board shorts, are paneled swimsuits, with waistbands resembling those of boxing trunks, always double-stitched, always with two layers of fabric. These shorts are known and favored among surfers, lifeguards, and paddleboarders, because of their quick-drying design and extreme durability; with an estimated 10 years for average use, and two to five years for more strenuous use. On all of the trunks there is a 2 square inch logo, of a stylized anthropomorphic surfboard, wearing, of course, Birdwell Beach Britches, nicknamed ‘Birdie.’

January 25, 2016

Virtuality

Dactyl Nightmare

Virtuality is a line of virtual reality gaming machines produced by Virtuality Group, and found in video arcades in the early 1990s. The company was founded by Jonathan D Waldern, a VR researcher supported by IBM Research Labs in Hursley, UK. Virtuality Group began life in 1985 as a garage startup called W Industries. Waldern’s company developed many of the principal components including VR headsets, graphics subsystems, 3D trackers, exoskeleton data gloves and other enclosure designs.

There are two types of units (referred to by the company as ‘pods’): stand up (SU) and sit down (SD). Both unit types utilize head-mounted displays (the ‘Visette’) containing two LCD screens at resolutions of 276 x 372 each, four speakers, and a microphone. The SU units achieve motion tracking via a magnet built into the waist high ring with a receiver in a free-moving joystick (the ‘Space Joystick’). The stereoscopic display was able to react to head movements based on what the player would be ‘looking at’ within the gaming environment. The position of the joystick (also magnetically tracked) controlled movement of the player’s ‘virtual hand,’ and a button on the joystick moves the player forwards in the game arena.

 

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October 21, 2015

Tower Records

Russell Solomon

all things must pass

Tower Records was an American retail music chain that liquidated in 2006. The brand currently exists as an international franchise and an online music store. Tower.com was purchased by a separate entity and was not affected by the retail store closings.

Tower was founded in 1960 by Russell Solomon in Sacramento, California. The store was named after his father’s drugstore, which shared a building and name with the Tower Theater, where Solomon first started selling records. The first Tower Records store was opened in 1960 on Watt Avenue in Sacramento. By 1976, Solomon had opened Tower Books, Posters, and Plants at 1600 Broadway, next door to Tower Records. It was also one of the first retailers to move online in 1995 as Tower.com.

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February 15, 2015

Spiewak

spiewak

I. Spiewak & Sons, Inc., commonly known simply as Spiewak, is a New York-based apparel manufacturer founded in 1904. Spiewak currently manufactures high-visibility safety apparel, EMS protective gear, and other uniforms for private businesses (including American Airlines and Avis) and government agencies (including the FBI, ATF, Secret Service, and Postal Service). During WWI, Spiewak produced wool coats and breeches for the US Army and Navy, including pea coats, which are still made by the company today. During WWII parkas, flight jackets, flight suits, and field jackets were produced for the US military. Spiewak also offers a line of consumer outerwear constructed with ‘workwear’ values.

Isaac Spiewak grew up in Warsaw, Poland and fled to Brooklyn, NY in 1903. He started a small family business, making sheepskin vests by hand and selling them on the docks of Williamsburg in 1904. By 1906, Isaac’s vests were in sufficient demand around New York for him to establish a small manufacturing space, calling it ‘House of the Golden Fleece.’ As his brothers entered into various facets of the outerwear business, the Spiewaks developed different, and sometimes competing, lines and companies to capitalize on prevailing trends and emerging market segments. Their family of brands including Bronco Manufacturing, Ram Manufacturing, United Sheeplined Clothing Company, Spiewak Brothers, Swiss Blouse, Excalibur, Frost King, Pan-Jac, Trappings, Prince Jason, and Flight Deck USA.

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December 26, 2014

Fenton Art Glass Company

fenton

The Fenton Art Glass Company was founded in 1905 by brothers Frank L. Fenton and John W. Fenton in an old glass factory in Martins Ferry, Ohio. Originally, they painted glass blanks from other glass makers, but started making their own glass when they moved across the Ohio river to Williamstown, West Virginia, and built a factory in 1906. The first year for glass production was 1907. Frank Fenton was the designer and decorator. From 1905 to 1920, the designs made there were heavily influenced by two other glass companies: Tiffany and Steuben. But the many different colors were the work of Jacob Rosenthal, a famous glass chemist who is known for developing chocolate and golden agate glass. Towards the end of 1907, the Fenton brothers were the first to introduce carnival glass (metallic or iridescent glass), which later became a popular collector’s item.

During the Great Depression and World War II, Fenton produced practical items (such as mixing bowls and tableware) due to shortages. At the same time, they continued creating new colors. Towards the end of the Great Depression they also produced perfume bottles for the Wrisley Company in 1938. The bottles were made in French opalescent glass with the hobnail pattern (similar to the studs on the sole of a hiking boot). In 1939, Fenton started selling Hobnail items in milk glass (opaque or translucent glass, often in white). Hobnail milk glass would become the top-selling line and allowed the Fenton company to expand.

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December 9, 2014

Gypsy Brewery

Mikkeller

evil twin

A gypsy brewery is a beer company that does not have its own equipment or premises; it operates on a temporary or itinerant basis out of the facilities of another brewery, generally making ‘one-off’ special occasion beers. The term may refer to the brewmaster, or to the brand of beer. The trend of gypsy brewing spread early in Scandinavia. Their beers, and collaborations later spread to America and Australia.

Gypsy brewers typically use facilities of larger makers with excess capacity. Often, their beers are made with herbs, spices, and fruits, use experimental styles, are high in alcohol, or are aged in old wine or liquor barrels. Prominent examples include Pretty Things, Stillwater Artisanal Ales, Mikkeller and Evil Twin.

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November 21, 2014

Christic Institute

brought to light

The Christic [kris-tikInstitute was a public interest law firm founded in 1980 by Daniel Sheehan, his wife, Sara Nelson and their partner, William J. Davis, a Jesuit priest, after the successful conclusion of their work on the Silkwood case. Karen Silkwood was an American chemical technician and labor union activist known for raising concerns about worker safety in a nuclear facility. She is most famous for her mysterious death, which was the subject of a victorious lawsuit against the chemical company Kerr-McGee.

Based on the ecumenical teachings of French philosopher and Jesuit Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, and on the lessons they learned from their experience in the Silkwood fight, the Christic Institute combined investigation, litigation, education and organizing into a unique model for social reform in the United States. Christic represented victims of the nuclear disaster at Three Mile Island; they prosecuted KKK members for killing civil rights demonstrators in the Greensboro Massacre, and they defended Catholic workers providing sanctuary to Salvadoran refugees (American Sanctuary Movement).

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July 16, 2014

Napster

napster

Napster was a peer-to-peer (P2P) music sharing application first developed in 1999 by Shawn Fanning at Northeastern University. The original program was available for three years before being shut down by a court order for copyright violations. The company’s brand and other assets was subsequently acquired at a bankruptcy proceeding by Roxio, maker of CD burning software. In its second incarnation Napster became an online music store until it was bought by music streaming site Rhapsody in late 2011.

Fanning lead the original company along with his uncle John Fanning and entrepreneur Sean Parker (who would go on to make billions as an early employee of Facebook). Later companies and projects successfully followed its P2P file sharing example such as Gnutella, Freenet, and many others. Some services, like LimeWire, Grokster, Madster and the original eDonkey network, were brought down or changed due to similar circumstances.

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January 27, 2014

CuteCircuit

tshirtos

CuteCircuit is a fashion company based in London founded in 2004 by Ryan Genz and Francesca Rosella that designs wearable technology and interactive fashion. The company is among the first in fashion to offer smart textile-based garments with micro electronics. CuteCircuit designs dresses and costumes for international artist special performances or tours. Such as, Katy Perry’s catsuit for her performance on ‘American Idol,’ U2 leather jackets for their ‘U2 360 Tour,’ and Azealia Banks’ mermaid dress.

The Kinetic Dress, designed  in 2004, lights up and changes its patterns following the person’s movement. The Hug Shirt is a t-shirt that recreates the sensation of touch, warmth, and emotion of a hug from the distant one using Bluetooth and sensors technology. The 2008 M Dress accepts a standard SIM card and allows to make and receive calls. Designed in partnership with Ballantine’s, TshirtOS is the world’s first t-shirt, that can be programmed by an iOS app to show images and texts, play music, take photos and share them.

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January 15, 2014

White Castle

White Castle

White Castle is a restaurant generally credited as the first fast food chain, known for its small, square hamburgers. Sometimes referred to as ‘sliders,’ the burgers were priced at five cents until the 1940s, and remained at ten cents for years thereafter. For several years, when the original burgers sold for five cents, White Castle periodically ran promotional ads in local newspapers which contained coupons offering five burgers for ten cents, takeout only.

White Castle was founded in 1921 in Wichita, Kansas by Cook Walt A. Anderson an insurance man Billy Ingram. At the time, Americans were hesitant to eat ground beef after Upton Sinclair’s 1906 novel ‘The Jungle’ publicized poor sanitation practices in the meatpacking industry. To invoke a feeling of cleanliness, their restaurants were small buildings with white porcelain enamel on steel exteriors, stainless steel interiors, and employees outfitted with spotless uniforms.

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