Thursday, May 07, 2009

Shopping from the past: Steele Canvas Basket Company

At your local library

Canvas work-top table/bench (Steele Canvas Basket Co.)

Six-bushel laundry basket (Steele Canvas Basket Co.)


Thanks to Andy at Reference Library for reintroducing the Steele Canvas Basket Company as a modern, U.S. source for totes, laundry bins and canvas work tables. I first read about the Steele Canvas Co in High Tech: Industrial Style and Sourcebook for the Modern Home, an amazing, Seventies-era design book featuring a number of canvas based storage solutions. Given the book's date of publication, I had assumed that most of the canvas manufacturers had either gone of out of business or moved production overseas. However, to my surprise, I saw Reference Library's post on a special edition of a Steele Canvas tote commissioned by Andy in heavy duty black canvas. While waiting for Andy to bring out a next generation version of his tote (w/longer handles!), I ordered a diminutive tote of my own directly from Steele. What's great about Steele is that they let you semi-customize your bag--permitting you to decide on final shoulder strap length, zipper/no-zipper and canvas panel color configurations. My contact at Steele was even kind enough to send me a few examples of totes created for Japanese clients (see below).

In a future post, I'll publish some more vintage images from the Steele Basket archives along with photographs of a friend's soon-to-arrive, custom canvas laundry bin.



Some samples headed to Japan



If synthetics are your thing




Out of the past


Place holder tote

8 comments:

Kate F. said...

Oh, awesome. Now that I see that logo I'm pretty sure they made the grey rolling bins we used in college to move things in and out of the dorms. Those things were built like tanks.

Cyclo2000 said...

Amazing. I used to borrow this book from my local library in Hamilton, Scotland back in the 80's! My flat then was furnished with found things and wire shelving and the inspiration was very much from this book. Great post!
http://cyclingweakly.blogspot.com/

Lesli Larson said...

I have some vintage photos of students moving their goods back and forth in Steel Canvas bins.. Coming soon! Perhaps you took pix of your own? But who moves into a college dorm and documents the brand of canvas bin in use to schlep goods in the process. I would now. Back to the University I go.

mlp said...

this is interesting ... about 6 months before the reference library bag came out i contacted them about doing a custom all-black bag and laundry bag for me and they seemed extremely hesitant about doing anything custom and would not answer my questions. looks like i need to get back on the phone with them.

Sales @ said...

We will provide our customers will any custom product, as long as it is in our production capabilities. If you have any questions about our products or would like assistance on a custom/standard product, please feel free to contact any of our sales staff. We can be contacted by visiting our website, www.steelecanvas.com and fill in the contact form. Or if you would prefer, you may call us anything at 800-541-8929

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