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Combination of Greatness – White & Kundtz

White Sewing Machine in Cabinet by Theodor Kundtz. The cabinet doubled as a writing desk.
White Sewing Machine in Cabinet by Theodor Kundtz. The cabinet doubled as a writing desk.

I continue to write about our great city of Cleveland 1875-1929 when Cleveland contained one half of all millionaires in the world. Among these were two great men namely, Thomas H. White and Theodor Kundtz.

Thomas H. White produced the White Sewing Machine which revolutionized the way family clothing was made. Thomas, in his pursuit of perfection, felt that a White Sewing Machine should be housed in more than just an ordinary wood cabinet. Enter Theodor Kundtz, a man from Hungary who had learned the cabinet business while working in Cleveland, Ohio.

Theodor Kundtz had the desire to form his own company and so he did, The Theodor Kundtz Cabinet Work. Theodor’s vision grew to having over 1 million square feet of factory before 1900. He built the finest cabinets in the world and Thomas H. White wanted the finest.

The end result was the sale of millions of cabinets, each valued not only because they were incredibly functional, but also as a beautiful piece of furniture. The White and Kundtz factories were located very close to each other making the supply chain very effective.

Theodor Kundtz Company buildings in the Cleveland Flats circa 1920
Theodor Kundtz Company buildings in the Cleveland Flats circa 1920

Today the product so proudly built by Theodor Kundtz and Thomas H. White is displayed in New York’s Smithsonian Museum for all to see. Pioneers with a philosophy of perfection, these men became part of our great Cleveland history. These men changed society for the better with their hard work and innovation.

New technology which benefits the masses, this is what will again produce a great Cleveland. One would do no better than to study the model of Thomas H. White and his friend Theodor Kundtz.

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