HNI turns 75
January 10, 2022 | 9:42 am CST

MUSCATINE, Iowa – HNI Corp. turns 75 years old in 2022.

Founded in 1947 in Muscatine, Iowa by C. Maxwell Stanley, Clement Hanson, and H. Wood Miller, HNI opened its doors under the premise that everyone would be treated equally and respectfully as members and owners of a productive industrial enterprise. 

First known as Home-O-Nize Co., the corporation began production as a maker of home appliances, with initial success driven by aluminum card file boxes marketed primarily as recipe boxes. As the company evolved into office products with the production of utility and filing cabinets, it would later become known as HON Industries and, finally, HNI Corp. in 2004. 

To see a corporate video about the anniversary, click here.

In 1981, HNI acquired its first fireplace manufacturing company. Since then, HNI has become the global leader in fireplaces and heating stoves, the company says. 

“Looking back over that time, our businesses have evolved dramatically, but so much has remained the same: our essence, our member-owner culture, and our passion for improving the lives of our members and the communities where we live and work,” said Jeff Lorenger, chairman, president, and CEO of HNI Corporation. “As proud as I am of our history, I am just as excited about the future of HNI.”

In the past 75 years, HNI has: 

  • Grown sales from $0 to over $2 billion 
  • Contributed more than $40M to the communities in which we operate 
  • Created thousands of good-paying jobs while currently employing more the 7,700 members worldwide 
  • Grown to a family of more than 19 industry-leading brands 
  • Become a premier supplier of office furniture and the global leader in fireplaces 
  • Created a Board of Directors of whom half are women, accomplished a goal of sourcing 100% renewable energy, and implemented robust diversity and sustainability programs 

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Larry Adams | Editor

Larry Adams is a Chicago-based writer and editor who writes about how things get done. A former wire service and community newspaper reporter, Larry is an award-winning writer with more than three decades of experience. In addition to writing about woodworking, he has covered science, metrology, metalworking, industrial design, quality control, imaging, Swiss and micromanufacturing . He was previously a Tabbie Award winner for his coverage of nano-based coatings technology for the automotive industry. Larry volunteers for the historic preservation group, the Kalo Foundation/Ianelli Studios, and the science-based group, Chicago Council on Science and Technology (C2ST).