After World War II, America went into a sustained economic boom that would last until the 1970s. Offices were being built across the country, and they needed economical, sturdy equipment. Swivel-based, adjustable chairs met the needs of the American post-war office. Industrial furniture was designed to be strong, easy to mass-produce, and made out of materials easy to shape or stamp, such as metal, or wood that was simple to craft with a machine.
Once the 1970s arrived, the market for industrial furniture reversed. The steel office chair started to be replaced with plastic, fabric, and leather chairs. Draftsmen tables on engineering floors were being replaced with desktop computers and cubicles. As fire systems improved, manufacturing with wood and wood-like products began to catch on, as there was less risk of furniture catching fire. Demand for executive desks, made of wood and glass, rose exponentially. As a result, the desks, chairs, drawers, and other industrial furniture that sold in the millions were given to college students, sold to smaller business, or melted down to be recycled. The companies that designed and manufactured this furniture moved onto other industries.