W.C. Heller & Company was founded in Montclair, New Jersey in 1891, by great-grandfather, William C. Heller. The company was incorporated in New Jersey in 1899 and, so to this day, is still a New Jersey Corporation. In 1906, W.C. Heller & Company moved to Montpelier, Ohio, and has been located on the same property ever since.
The 1922 Catalog and some photos below from the catalog
The original products manufactured by the W.C. Heller & Co. were solid Oak hardware store fixtures. Some of these fixtures are still being manufactured today, on a special order basis. W.C. Heller & Co. cabinets were recognized as the best store equipment in the world. With the trend towards plastics and metal as store fixtures in the 1950's, the W.C. Heller & Co. began to diversify into the manufacturing of other wood product. In the mid 1950's, a line of quality wood library shelving and furniture was developed and began being sold. Three of the very first libraries that purchased this new shelving are still using these shelving units today. Recently, I made a sales call on one of these libraries. The director told me that those original shelving units are still in such good condition, and so sturdy, that her library board will not allow her to replace them. However, she was able to replace several shelving units manufactured by some other company in the mid 1960' s, because those other shelving units were falling apart. Her only "complaint" about our shelving was that it lasts too long.
W.C. Heller & Co. has always prided itself on manufacturing a quality product at a competitive price. We have had an unwritten policy of selling our product based on our quality, reputation and service, not on the current day method of downgrading our competitors' product; there are also several that do. We feel that our furniture and shelving are equal to or better than any other brand on the market. Often times, I am asked how our shelving and furniture compare to another well-known manufacturer of quality wood library furniture. In reality, the differences are generally superficial, however, sometimes there are significant differences. For instance, our shelving is connected with machine screws into threaded steel inserts set into the end panels and with machine screws and nuts to connect the add-on units. Some competitors use wire helicoids in end panels, while other use a wood screw lag bolt. *Our Adjustable shelves are solid Oak on Oak units and solid Maple for Birch/Maple units. It is common to find homecare shelves with Oak or Maple facers on the front edge or to find an Oak shelving unit with a Maple shelf that has an Oak nose facer on the front edge. *We print a complete set of specifications, detailing our manufacturing process and the types of material used on each item we sell. To give you a quick overview of our product line in general, I will detail a few practices common to our furniture. The types of wood used in our furniture are Oak, Maple and Birch solid wood and plywood. Industrial grade particleboard is used as the core material for tabletops, counter tops and normally, in any area that has a plastic laminate covering. These tops are standard at 1 1/2'' thick and can be edge banded with plastic laminate or solid wood. All panels such as shelving uprights, side panels on counters and study carrels are always constructed with furniture grade plywood and faced with solid wood on exposed edges.
There is one particular service that we·offer, which is not generally available from other manufacturers. It is our ability to offer a wide variety of custom cabinetry and special modifications to standard product items. Quite often an architect will design something special for a particular library, or a librarian will want a unit to meet their special need. Today's vast array of computers is a perfect example. It seems that every library or school needs something special for their computers and we will design units to meet these special needs, by the use of our CAD (computer aided design) system. Unquestionably, the largest amount of special or custom work is done on shelving. This runs from special heights, widths, and depths, to wood or glass doors, to sizing to fit around windows and matching existing shelving, etc. Along with custom finishing to match current colors in a library.
It is our feeling that using quality materials is the only way to manufacture a product that will last for decades. W.C. Heller and Company manufactures quality products.
THE W.C. HELLER COMPANY was established in 1891 and manufactures high quality wood shelving, cabinets and equipment. Heller furniture has continually been improved through new production techniques in assembly and finishing over the years.
All Heller Library Shelving, Counters, Tables, Book Trucks, Card Files, Displays and Charging Desks are guaranteed against defective materials and workmanship for one year. Due to continuing product improvement, the W.C. Heller Co. reserves the right to change specifications without notice.