Secretary Desk Cabinet
On February 23, 1904, a steam saw mill and planning mill, located between Jackson and Mill streets at Second Street in Jasper, Indiana, was purchased by Schaaf & Schnaus. Besides being a saw mill, the operation dealt in rough and dressed lumber, sash doors, siding, frames, paints, oils, lime, cement and builder’s hardware. The business furnished much of the materials used in the construction of the homes and mercantile buildings in early Jasper, Indiana.
The firm operated as Schaaf & Schnaus until 1928 and contracted, built and manufactured furniture products of all kinds. On February 2, 1928, the name was changed to the Jasper Cabinet Company. Shortly after incorporation, the Jasper sales representatives were hired and through their efforts, the company gained national prominence.
During the 1930’s, Jasper Cabinet made some outstanding furniture that remained in the line for decades: the breakfront, the secretary and the desk. The son-in-law of Alois Schaaf, Bill Fritch, patented a typewriter desk that also had great success.
In the 40’s, the War set things back, as a shortage of materials caused the product line to be limited and quality declined. But in the 50’s, Jasper became a leader again with a wide range of products like cellarets, desks, breakfronts, secretaries, and chests. It was during this time that Jasper developed crowned glass with the help of two men, Gene Colas and Benny Balin.
Also, during this time, Jasper Cabinet developed the ability to do multiple finishes and decorator colors. Since 1954, in-house artisans hand painted furniture decorations, creating truly personalized furniture.
In the 1960’s, Jasper developed a gun cabinet without the aid of a designer. It later became the most copied piece of furniture Jasper ever made. The gun cabinet was later developed into a display cabinet and the curio cabinet was born. Also, during the 60’s the flat top desk was developed into a roll-top desk with a smooth roll curtain that would not be a dust collector.
A New York investment company, G.L. Ohrstrom & Company, purchased Jasper Cabinet Company in 1972. Jasper Cabinet was part of a group of furniture companies known as Dorset Corporation. They held the business until 1986 when it was acquired by Avenir Group, Inc. Avenir Group, Inc., due to a crippling strike in 1999 from which it never fully recovered, closed its doors in October of 2002. In July of 2005, Jasper Cabinet was restarted with our present line as shown under Products.
Jasper Cabinet Company developed into one of the fine furniture factories in the country. Jasper Cabinet was recognized as the leader in its field and the innovator of many of the fine features of American made furniture.
Jasper Cabinet was the world’s leading producer of top quality secretaries, curio cabinets, desks, entertainment furniture, gun cabinets, chests, and other accent furniture.
Jasper Cabinet is a custom manufacturer, offering a wide variety of finishes, hand-decorating, wood species, decorative veneers and other options. For many companies accent is a sideline and not very important. For Jasper Cabinet Company, accent is everything.