edwin john shoemaker
As co-founder of La-Z-Boy Chair Company, Edwin Shoemaker (b.1907 d.1998) provided the engineering expertise that evolved into the world famous La-Z-Boy chair. Back in 1927, when he and his cousin, Edward M. Knabusch, borrowed the money to start the business, no one could have imagined the heights to which the motion chair business has risen.
Edwin Shoemaker is an inventor, acquiring his first patent for a band saw guide in 1925. His engineering genius brought the mass production methods of Detroit's automotive industry into the upholstery plant, He planned and designed the manufacturing facility that opened in November, 1941. Production was 85 chairs per day from a factory with 24,000 square feet of floor space.
Today, total floor space has expanded to well over 5,000,000 square feet, with 8,000 employees in nine states. Shoemaker had a hand in the design and construction of every La-Z-Boy plant.
Shoemaker was among the first to project the physical properties of recliners as a science. If there were such a thing as the "'Father of Motion Furniture," he would be a candidate for that title.
As a trustee for the La-Z-Boy Chair Foundation since 1953, his philanthropy has touched hospitals, schools, libraries, museums, and a host of religious programs.