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Showers Brothers Furniture Company: The Shared Fortunes of a Family, a City, and a Univers
Carrol Krause
Indiana U Press
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Date Listed:
2015-02-04 00:00:00
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Untitled Document

Showers Brothers Furniture Company

The Shared Fortunes of a Family, a City, and a University

By Carrol Krause.

Softcover, 312 pages, 75 b&w illus., 7x10". 2012.

"When the Showers family arrived in Bloomington, Indiana, the railroad had only recently come to town and a modest university was struggling to survive. Having spent the prior 18 years moving from place to place, the family decided to settle down and invest its modest resources to start a furniture company.

By 1919, seventeen acres of shop floor, covered with modern steam-driven machinery, constituted the largest furniture factory in the world. More than a thousand men produced boxcar after boxcar of furniture for Sears, Roebuck and other clients, hauled out of town by the steam power of the Illinois Central and the Monon Railroads. At present, the remaining sawtooth-roofed structure west of downtown Bloomington is restored, modernized, and houses Bloomington's City Hall and offices.

"The business proved to be extremely profitable and a stroke of good fortune for the small community. The company’s success strengthened Bloomington's infrastructure, helping to develop new neighborhoods, and the philanthropic acts of the Showers family supported the town’s continued development. The family’s contributions helped Indiana University through difficult times and paved the way to its becoming the largest university in the state.

"In this detailed history of Showers Brothers, Carrol Krause tells the story of a remarkably successful collaboration between business, town, and gown."