Innovation in Filing and Storage for nearly 100 years
A chance meeting in an elevator between Harry Fellowes and Walter Nickel in 1917 is where the Fellowes story begins. The two gentlemen were small businessmen who worked in the same office building. Harry had been called up for duty in World War I and needed to sell his business, a start-up company that made inexpensive corrugated boxes used for storing bank records.
Harry found the idea intriguing because of the recordkeeping requirements brought about by the newly enacted federal income tax. Harry Fellowes purchased the company for $50 and the Bankers Box Company was born. Harry assembled the sturdy file-like boxes on his kitchen table at night and went out and sold them during the day.
The timing was excellent for a strong and affordable source for records keeping. After the war, Walter Nickel re-joined Harry. As the product lines expanded to meet the demands of office environments over the next 60 years, the boxes turned into entire systems of efficient records management. The famous Bankers Box became the trademark file storage system across the American business landscape.
During the 1950s, the goal of building the company into a strong national manufacturer became a reality and as production continued to increase, this culminated in Fellowes' current one million-square-foot location just outside of Chicago, Illinois. Recognising the global opportunities the company saw the next decade of overseas expansions during the 1960s and 1970s, opening subsidiaries in the United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada.
Building upon this foundation, the company later developed businesses in Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, France, and Japan, including exports to more than 60 additional countries.
As the company went on to diversify into all kinds of office products, by 1972 it had become a major manufacturer of office products.
In 1983 the Bankers Box Company changed its name to Fellowes Manufacturing and the Bankers Box name was retained as the brand name for the company’s filing and storage solutions.
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