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Summary Article: Stickley, Gustav
from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

US furniture craftsman, designer, and editor. With his younger brothers Charles Stickley and Albert Stickley, he formed Stickley Brothers, a furniture manufacturing firm. In 1901 he founded a magazine, Craftsman, to promote his ideas about home furnishings and social reform, remaining its publisher and editor until it stopped publication in 1916. In 1915 his empire went bankrupt as a result of World War I and changing tastes.

He was born in Osceola, Wisconsin. Son of a stonemason, he learned and practiced the trade until about 1875 when he went to work in an uncle's chair factory in Brandt, Pennsylvania. By 1880 he had taken over the firm. They moved to Binghamton, New York, in the 1880s. Gustav at one point became involved with promoting electric streetcars – and was evidently the first to operate one in the USA. He concentrated his energies on improving the design of furniture and homes, not just for aesthetic reasons, but also because he believed that his new functionalism would improve the lives of both the workers and as chairman of the board, he reorganized them as the Chicago Great Western Railroad, which he led until 1908 when it went bankrupt.

He was born in Wilton, Maine. He left a career as a lawyer in Minnesota 1862–69 to start working for the railroads. He was involved in several of the midwestern and northwestern railways. In 1909 he retired. The financial methods with which he tried to manage the railroads were new to America, ideas he acquired in England and set forth in The Railway Problem (1891), but which could not protect them from an insufficient earning power.

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