Gunlocke Library Chairs for the Library

As you may or may not recall, a couple of months ago we got a new loveseat for the library, and said loveseat’s diminutive proportions made our side chairs look somewhat ridiculous:



I sold those chairs (and our old chess table) to my mom the other day to sell at her shop. She gave me $70 for everything and has already sold the chairs, so everyone’s happy.

I’ve been casually hunting for new chairs ever since we got the loveseat. I mentioned that I really like the Ikea Stockholm chairs:



….but at $139 each, they’re a little spendier than I prefer.

Then, the other night, I was browsing on Craigslist and came across a listing offering a bunch of these guys:



….for $15 each! Sold!

They’re not fancy, but they’re the sort of thing I had in mind for here….simple, mid-century, the right size. And, really, they’re the chairs Milo and Dave use for guitar playing, so it’s better that they don’t have arms. Oh, also? Have I mentioned they were $15 each?!

Everything I know about furniture I learned from the internet (which is kind of embarrassing, really, because my Dad worked for Steelcase for years; I should probably know all of this already), so I set about researching my new chairs.

Which was a little tricky because there are like 14 different labels saying all sorts of different things stuck to the bottom. One label tells me they’re from Albany Junior College. The most prominent label reads “Remington Rand, Division of Sperry Rand Corporation, Herkimer, N.Y” and then “Library Bureau.” I was sure that, equipped with all of this information, I’d be able to find all sort of information about my chairs online.

This did not turn out to be the case, though. I still haven’t managed to find a picture of one exactly like mine, in fact. I’ve found some similar ones, and at some point I started to think that my chairs must have been made by the W.H. Gunlocke company (for Remington Rand? I’m not sure how that all works). And then, when I went to write this post, I looked again on the bottom of the chair and saw yet another label, reading “W.H. Gunlocke Chair Company.” Under that it says 1955S, and I’m going to assume the 1955 part is a manufacture date. So, the internet tells me, Gunlocke sold lots and lots of chairs, mostly to places like offices and libraries. And the White House:

JFK Chair


I’m thinking of stripping the chairs and refinishing them in maybe a lightish walnut stain. I’m not sure if you’re not supposed to do that with chairs made all the way back in 1955, but it’s not like these ones were in the White House or anything. Just Albany Junior College. It’s pretty fun that they were likely from a library and now they’re in MY library, though.

So the library now:

library chairs1

I should probably have moved those dogs. They’re playing, not fighting!

We still need a coffee table (this might be a DIY project) and a rug in here. If we make the coffee table on the cheap, then I’m thinking between that and my super cheap chairs, we might have a little breathing room in the rug budget.


Gunlocke Library Chairs for the Library — 14 Comments

  1. Ok I absolutely love those chairs and the history behind them just makes them that much cooler! They are the perfect size and shape for that space!! Your room is really taking shape friend and what a score that you were able to sell your other pieces to your mom! Library chairs for a library! Awesome!!!

    • I’m actually planning to surprise you by totally copying an idea I saw on another blog ;), but we’ll see what happens in the end….

    • Ha ha! I’ll put a nice label across it: “how to start your own dogfighting ring” and watch my page views skyrocket 😉

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