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The All-Steel Equipment Company was founded in 1912 in Aurora, Illinois. Initially known as the Allsteelequip Company, they manufactured electrical boxes, shop-tote boxes and soon after steel lockers and electrical conduits. In 1929 the company changed its name to the All-Steel-Equip Company. In 1936 ASE bought the Aurora Metal Cabinet Company of Aurora, Illinois and redesigned the companies line of file cabinets. During World War II ASE manufactured ammunition boxes, shell fuse casings, metal lockers for the US Navy and special wood-topped cabinets for US Army vehicles.
In 1947 All-Steel started its steel office desk line, which featured special knocked-down designs with interchangeable parts, allowing smaller dealers to offer more options without using additional floorspace. In 1953 ASE bought the Shepherd Chair Co. of Melrose Park, Illinois and began producing steel chairs to compliment their other lines of office furniture. In 1965 the company reached an agreement with the Okamura Manufacturing Company near Yokohama, Japan - ASE provided technical information about their various product lines in exchange for an initial disclosure fee as well as royalties on all products sold. By 1966 ASE was the worlds third-largest producer of steel office furniture. In 1967 All-Steel pioneered the lateral file.
the years the company has received awards from such organizations
as the Industrial Designers Society of America, the International
Interior Design Association, and the American Institute of Architects.
In 1998 ASE was absorbed into Hon Industries of Muscatine, Iowa, however
Past Present Future was able to rescue the companies entire archives
which had been otherwise slated for destruction.