Most of us have finite finances. Which means when doing something like furnishing an office, you often must make some function-over-form and—even more often—pinchpenny decisions in favor of not totally going broke. So, sorry, Sonos, though we love you dearly, you won’t be making a debut at raven + crow studio any time soon. Instead, we will continue to rely on our seven-year-old, blender-like floor wireless speaker that looks and sometimes sounds like a tiny R2D2.
One place we did decide to splurge a bit, however, was on our office chairs. After a year of working on our outside patio in Beachwood Canyon in not-so-great-for-your-back chairs, we felt justified in spending a little more on chairs that have stood the test of time, were made for longterm use…and look cool to boot.
What we ended up with were industrial era office chairs from the Elkhart, Indiana company Do/More.
Do/More formed when two American GIs returned home from World War I in 1919 with legal rights to “process, market, and distribute” a new seating product developed by Tan/Sad, a UK-based company that started out making wheel toys, baby carriages, pillion seats and motorcycling accessories before being taken over and shifting focus to the production “specifically designed Chairs for the use of Typists, Machine Operators, General Office and Executives, and for all Industrial purposes where operatives sit at their work.” Our two intrepid entrepreneurs teamed up with an Elkhart-based industrialist—WS Ferris—who specialized in metal fabrication and the three businessmen were met with near-immediate success when they unveiled their worker chairs in 1922.
Soon after, Ferris obtained the original Tan/Sad rights from the GIs and began making his own modifications to the design, requiring a rebrand of the company. Ferris stated that his goals were to:
Do more to improve productivity
Do more to improve seated workers health
Do more to prevent back ache
Do more to improve appearance
Do more improve seated workers physical well being
Thus, the Do/More Posture Chair was born, complete with swivel action and casters. The company went on to be commissioned by the US government to make chairs for workers as part of FDR’s New Deal, establish a Posture Research Institute, and create the Do/More Intensive Use Seat for FAA in the 60s.
Before all that, though, they made these awesome chairs which found their way to us after being reupholstered in bright yellow vinyl and sold to us by Cyclic Furniture, an antique-packed gem situated in Burbank. Some 80 or 70 years after they were wheeled off the factory floor, these working artifacts from a time of made-to-last objects are going strong, keeping our backs healthy, our butts off the floor, and our studio looking good.