City (pop., 2000: 197,800), western Michigan, U.S. Located on the Grand River, it was founded in 1826 as a trading post. Ample lumber from nearby forests soon fueled a woodworking industry. After Grand Rapids furniture was shown at the 1876 Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia, the city became known as the furniture capital of America. Its industry diversified with the advent of World War I, and metal-based manufacturing thereafter exceeded furniture. Its public library contains important collections of books on furniture design; its educational institutions include Kendall College of Art and Design (1928). It was the boyhood home of Pres. Gerald Ford.
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