The H. Chambers Company

Timeline

A History of Excellence

1899

THE FIRM IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS

James H. Chambers, the founder of the H. Chambers Company, at the company's first office near Baltimore's shopping district. Chambers excelled at providing beautiful decorative painting for churches and synagogues. When applying paper, Chamber artisans often signed their names under the paper, signatures found to this day.

HISTORY

Spanish rule ends in Cuba.

Queens and Staten Island merge with New York City.
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1916

INCORPORATION

As the H. Chambers Company grew and expanded, a more solid business model was needed and the decision was made to incorporate. The firm looked confidently toward the future.

HISTORY

The Chicago Cubs play their first game at Wrigley Field.

The light switch is invented.
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1924

A PORTRAIT OR SUCCESS

This early photograph depicts James Howard Chambers, founder of the H. Chambers Company, as the firm grew more successful and became a watchword for excellence in decorative painting and papering.

HISTORY

American media company Metro Goldwyn Mayer (MGM) is founded in Los Angeles, California.

J. Edgar Hoover is appointed head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation
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1926

A MOVE TO LARGER QUARTERS

As the firm's reputation grew and clients asked for additional assistance in their interiors, Chambers moved to a new larger location in the prestigious Academy of Music Building, and began a small retail operation from this space, an idea that would grow.

HISTORY

1925 Land on Broadway and Wall Street in New York City is sold at a record $7 per square inch.

The National Bar Association incorporates the United States.
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1928

WITH RETAIL SALES, THE NEED
TO TRANSPORT GOODS

In 1928 when well to do ladies shopped they expected their purchases to be delivered to their homes. Chambers acquired its first truck and driver to deliver the goods purchased in the small -but -growing shop started in 1926.

HISTORY

The Academy of Picture Art and Sciences is founded.

Charles Lindbergh makes his first solo, non stop, trans-Atlantic flight from New York to Paris.
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1929

AS THE CITY'S ELITE MOVE NORTH,
CHAMBERS FOLLOWS

Chambers moved to the prestigious Mount Vernon neighborhood, acquiring a large town house and creating display windows that soon became a must-see for those shopping in the city. This building allowed for a greatly expanded retail showroom and office space for those practitioners involved in the new field of interior decoration.

HISTORY

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DIJA) peaks at $381.17, a height it would not reach again until 1954.

The longest bridge in the world, the San Francisco Bay Toll-Bridge opens.
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1933

CHAMBERS ATTRACTS THE
BEST OF THE FUTURE

In a move that continues to this day, Chambers hired a young decorator who would be known as the Dean of American Interior Design, Billy Baldwin. Many of the region's best decorators and designers have acquired their polish and good working habits at Chambers.

HISTORY

The magazine Newsweek is published for the first time.

The first drive-in theatre opens in Camden, New Jersey.
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1937

CHAMBERS AS A VALUED RESOURCE

As Americans began to value their own decorating history, Chambers was turned to for advice on what constituted authenticity and quality. Even today, Chambers represents a depth of knowledge in the interiors industry as well as in planning and architecture.

HISTORY

Walt Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the first feature-length animated cartoon with sound, opens.

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck is published.
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1939

THE SOURCE FOR QUALITY

Chambers' reputation is now solidly established as the source for interior décor of the highest quality, and for a breadth and knowledge second to none. A Chambers designed home is a goal for families throughout the East.

HISTORY

The National Baseball Hall of Fame is officially dedicated in Cooperstown, New York.

Batman makes his first appearance in a comic book.
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1941

SELECTED INTERNATIONALLY
TO REPRESENT QUALITY

Chambers is the sole proprietor in Maryland of many nationally and internationally recognized brands, brands that homes of quality featured prominently.

HISTORY

The breakfast Cheerios is introduced by General Mills.

Joe DiMaggio sets a new record of 56 consecutive games with a hit.
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1945

THE PRIVATE CLUB AND QUALITY

Chambers is asked to decorate the new neo-Georgian Clubhouse of the Baltimore Country Club in prominent Roland Park, the club of many of Chambers' clients. The Baltimore Country Club remains a client today.

HISTORY

The United Nations is formed.

Assembly of the world's first general purpose electronic computer, the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer, is completed.
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1949

EXPANSION IN PLACE

While remaining in the Mount Vernon neighborhood, Chambers realizes the need for the additional space for its growing business. A row of carriage houses behind the main building is acquired to manufacture Chambers' own line of furniture, and add needed workroom space for draperies, upholstery and decorative painting and finishing.

HISTORY

The first Volkswagon Beetle arrives in the United States.

The first Emmy Awards are presented at the Hollywood Athletic Club.
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1952

NEIGHBORING OF GOOD DESIGN

As featured writers noticed the influence that Chambers was wielding throughout the city, surrounding counties and on the east Coast, articles such as these appeared touting Chambers' individual response to many homes in a single influential community.

HISTORY

The Today Show premiers on NBC.

In the United States, a mechanical hearing aid is used for the first time in a human patient.
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1954

COMMERCIAL CREDIT CORPORATION

First major corporate design, including interior architecture, stone finishes and the design of all executive spaces. The completed, finished project remained in place until the corporation would move years later.

HISTORY

Marilyn Monroe marries baseball player Joe DiMaggio.

The first Burger King opens in Miami, Florida.
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1955

NATIONAL REPRESENTANTION
FOR THE AID

The American Institute of Decorators elected Mr. Roy Chambers national president and he worked to bring the profession to the fore in American public life. Here, he presents Mr. Leonard Bernstein an award for bringing music into the American home.

HISTORY

The $64,000 question premiers on CBS television with Hal March as the host.

Disneyland opens in Anaheim, California.
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1956

DECORATING FOR THE SEA

Among many prominent citizens, Chambers decorated the personal yacht, the Electron, for Mr. David Sarnoff, founder of RCA. Chambers also worked on four presidential yachts and was the interior design advisor for the world renowned Trump Yacht Corporation and designed the interiors packages for the Trojan Yachts. This was not the last of Chambers' seagoing adventures.

HISTORY

Elvis Presley enters the United States music charts for the first time with Heartbreak Hotel.

The Wizard of Oz is shown on television for the first time by CBS.
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1962

THE WHITE HOUSE, AID

Because of his undying interest in promoting the American Institute of Decorators, AID, Roy Chambers, when asked to decorate the White House library for President and Mrs. John F. Kennedy, treated it as an opportunity to promote the organization, here photographed with Mrs. Kennedy and AID executives.

HISTORY

The Beatles' first record "My Bonnie" with Tony Sheridan is released by Polydor.

The first Wal-Mart store opens for business in Rodgers, Arkansas.
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1964

CHAMBERS CREATES A BUILDING
...FOR ITSELF

Chambers selected the prestigious Washington DC architectural firm of Fisher, Nes & Campbell to design its own headquarters, next door to the townhouse occupied since 1929. The building was designed to accommodate the growing corporate and residential design business in the US and abroad.

HISTORY

The first Ford mustang rolls off the assembly line at Ford Motor Company.

Merv Griffin's game show Jeopardy! Debuts on NBC with Art Fleming as the host.
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1967

SEATS OF POWER

Chambers was asked by Maryland Governor and Mrs. Spiro Agnew to redecorate the Government House, the home of Maryland's chief executives and their families. This was the third time Chambers was involved in the executive mansion's decoration.

HISTORY

In Super Bowl I, the Green Bay Packers defeat the Kansas City Chiefs 35-10.

The first Boeing 737 takes its maiden flight.
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1970

THE CIRCUS OF INTERIOR DESIGN

By this time, Chambers had expanded to include an office in Washington, DC and was given the commission to design the corporate headquarters there for the Ringling Bros, Barnum & Bailey Circus. Great murals, brilliant color and curved corridors, all came together to create, on purpose, a circus like atmosphere.

HISTORY

The Concorde makes its first supersonic flight @ 700 mph.

The Baltimore Orioles defeat the Cincinnati Reds in five games to win their second world championship.
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1973

BEYOND INTERIORS

Chambers developed both a Graphic Design Group and an Industrial Design Group to provide complete design services to its growing corporate clientele. It was exciting to watch sports teams in the region wearing uniforms designed by Chambers.

HISTORY

The Sears Tower in Chicago is finished, becoming the world's tallest building.

Secretariat becomes the first Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing winder since 1948.
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1975

CHAMBERS GOES TO MEET ITS CLIENTS

The Washington, DC office grew too small, so Chambers moved into a full floor of Canal Square in Georgetown. In addition, the company purchased an accessories shop in Lyford Cay, Bahamas and turned it into a full scale interiors business and added an internationally patronized art gallery. In the same era, the Bank of London South America asked Chambers to open an office in Bogota, Columbia South America to design its offices there.

HISTORY

Wheel of Fortune premiers on NBC.

Bill Gates founds Microsoft in Albuquerque, NM.
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1980

A NEW SERVICE IN DEMAND

As Chambers continued to design the offices of regionally headquartered corporations, the firm was asked to provide ideas on logos. Chambers' expanded Graphic Design Group designed logos, stationery, brochures and other print element of corporate life, some used for decades.

HISTORY

Pac Man (the best selling arcade game of all time) is released.

The cable network (CNN) is officially launched.
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1981

A NEW PRESIDENT

In 1981, Mr. Robert Hickman was named President of the firm. It was the first time the office was held by someone other than a member of the Chambers family. Lee, his partner, and wife Katherine (Kit) Chambers were ready to retire to their home in the Bahamas and wanted the company to continue to grow and prosper under dynamic new leadership.

HISTORY

After 19 years hosting the CBS Evening News, Walter Cronkite signs off for the last time.

MTV (Music Television) is launched on cable television in the United States.
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1987

THE ROYAL CONNECTION

As with many young royals, the son of HRH Princess Margaret sister to Queen Elizabeth II, and Lord Snowdon, the Viscount David Linley, looked for something meaningful to do. He found it in working with wood, creating exquisitely inlaid furniture. Chambers brought the talented royal craftsman to the US, introducing him to the American market for the first time.

HISTORY

The Simpsons cartoon first appears on The Tracey Ullman Show.

American Motors Corporation is acquired by Chrysler Corporation.
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1991

ANOTHER ROYAL CONNECTION

This time the royalty was Princess Line Cruises, for which Chambers designed the interiors of three of their most luxurious ships, working with a naval architect from Italy. Princess Line Cruises was the "home" of the television's popular "Love Boat" whose captain Gavin McCloud is seen here with Lee and Kit Chambers.

HISTORY

Tim Berners-Lee releases an article describing his idea for the "World Wide Web".

The Super Nintendo Entertainment System is released in the United States.
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1994

ARCHITECTURE BECOMES PART
OF THE CHAMBERS FAMILY

Realizing that architecture was a missing aspect of the interiors business, Chambers acquired an architectural firm headed by James Wallace, AIA, who became the head of the new Chambers Architectural Associates.

HISTORY

Apple Computer, Inc. releases the first Macintosh computers to use the Power PC Microprocessor.

The long running American sitcom Friends premiers on NBC.
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1999

100 YEARS YOUNG

At 100, Chambers was, and is, the oldest interior design firm in the United States, perhaps in the world. However, the firm continues to thrive, to meet new challenges, to set a standard of style and design to none. The firm's strength comes from its clients and its employees and its leadership, and still looks to the future.

HISTORY

The Euro is established.

Napster, a music downloading service, debuts.
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2004

RICHARD SNELLINGER BECOMES PRESIDENT

Chambers' areas of expertise grew exponentially. Private clubs, continuing care and retirement communities, and other specialties became part of the Chambers suite of services. Master Planning quickly became another area of focus for the firm. Rick was the master of Master Planning and Bob Hickman felt it was to the firm's advantage to have him at the helm, guiding the firm day to day as their private club business began to grow and grow.

HISTORY

Facebook was founded in Cambridge, Massachusetts

Nasa's MER-B (Opportunity) lands on Mars.
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2005

A COMMITMENT TO THE CITY
AND TO GROWTH

Chambers' newly devised Services Suite, including Architecture, Interiors, Master Planning, Purchasing and Installation, were in a 1964 building, scattered over three floors in an area of Baltimore without room for expansion. The firm needed space for all groups to work closely together, wanted to stay in Baltimore City, hoped for green design and wanted a location with easy access for employees and nationally-based clients. Chambers moves into the 8-story, 1.3 million SF Montgomery Park business center, a refurbished building that was once a Montgomery Ward distribution center.

HISTORY

The internet site YouTube goes online.

Surgeons in France carryout the first human face transplant.
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2007

CLUBHOUSE INTERIOR DESIGN
FIRM OF THE YEAR

While awards are not new to Chambers, being named Clubhouse Interior Design Firm of the Year by Boardroom Magazine was a special moment in the firm's history. Chambers embracement of the private club industry and the renown it has achieved in this field has been rewarding on several levels, and peer recognition is especially significant.

HISTORY

Apple Inc. announces and introduces the highly speculated iPhone.

Microsoft releases Windows Vista and Office 2007.
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2009

A NEW STRUCTURE

For only the third time in 110 years leadership at Chambers was structured for the company's growth, strength and longevity. Bob Hickman relinquished the title of CEO to Rick Snellinger, with Bob remaining Chairman of the Board. Both Bob and Rick felt this provided an effective leadership dynamic to better respond to growth opportunities in an increasingly fast paced business.

HISTORY

Barack Obama is inaugurated as the 44th and first African American President of the United States.
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2010

TOP HONORS

Golf Inc. magazine names Charlotte Country Club as Clubhouse Restoration of the Year, and names Inverness Country Club the New Clubhouse of the Year, both clubhouse projects completed by Chambers.

HISTORY

The Dubai Tower in Dubai, UAE is completed standing as the world's tallest building at 162 stories high.

Apple computers unveils the first generation iPad.
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2012

IMPORTANCE OF PARTNERSHIPS

Chambers becomes a corporate alliance partner to Club Managers Association of American (CMAA).

HISTORY

NASA's Curiosity is the first craft to land on Mars.

Extreme athlete Felix Baumgartner lands safely on earth after a 24 mile jump from the stratosphere, and is considered to be the world's first supersonic skydiver.
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2013

GROWING CHAMBERS

Chambers acquires Texas based CCI Club Design.

HISTORY

President Barack Obama was inaugurated for a second term as president of the United States.

The Boston Marathon bombing occurs on April 15, killing 3 and injuring 264.

Nelson Mandela passes away at the age of 95.
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2013

GROWING CHAMBERS

Former CMAA president Skip Avery joins Chambers as Executive Vice President.

HISTORY

Pope Benedict XVI announces his resignation, the first pope to resign since 1415.

The Baltimore Ravens win Super Bowl XLVII, defeating the San Francisco 49ers, 34-31.
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2014

BLENDING EXPERIENCES

Charlie Turner becomes the new Director of Interior Design for Chambers, bringing his vast expertise from the hospitality industry as a fresh perspective in the design studio.

HISTORY

After a 10-year journey, the Philae is the first robot to successfully land on a comet, which is later named Agilkia.

Oil prices drop from $100 per barrel to $60 per barrel in a few short months.
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2016

EXPANDING OUR REACH

Chambers starts the new year off with an announcement of a new Midwest office in Minneapolis headed by industry veteran Rick Christensen, AIA as part of the company's strategic growth plan intended to extend Chambers' reach and commitment throughout the private club industry.

HISTORY

March 2016 marks the 100th anniversary of the year Albert Einstein published his theory of relativity.

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