Freedman Seating Commemorates 130 Years

Founder Hyman Freedman Received an Honorable Mention at The Columbian Exposition

Chicago, IL — It was over 130 years ago when Hyman Freedman and his employer, Columbia Cab Company, exhibited at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago.

Hyman Freedman exhibited in the popular Transportation Building (now Jackson Park in Chicago). An elaborately decorated golden arch surrounded the main entrance, and the interior design resembled a Roman basilica. Planners divided the exhibits into three parts: railway, marine, and vehicle. According to the official event directory, Columbia Cab Company featured baby carriages, stools, and other small furniture.

After the World’s Fair closed in October of 1893, celebrations continued. On June 26, 1894, Hyman Freedman was awarded a diploma of honorable mention for his upholstery skills at the event. As the 20th century approached, Freedman began making seat cushions for horse-drawn buggies. Prior to the Great Depression, the Hyman Freedman Company patented several spring structures and other seating related technologies. A changing economy and advancements in transportation would bring opportunities with delivery trucks and Hyman began making driver seats for small delivery companies. Today, Freedman continues to supply seating solutions for major package handling services including UPS, FedEx and the United States Postal Service. The company also services the bus, rail, and ferry boat markets.

Five Generations
Hyman continued to build the family business alongside his son, Paul Freedman. Third generation leadership came with Gerald Freedman, who currently serves as Chairman of the company.

By the 1990’s, the fourth generation of family executives would include Craig Freedman (CEO), Dan Cohen (President), and Dave Cohen (VP, General Manager). Following are members of the fifth generation who have taken on a variety of roles throughout the company.

Today, a leadership team with vast industry experience and passion for manufacturing continue to move the company forward, focused on advanced manufacturing, new markets, and a renewed commitment to the company’s core values.

Growth and Expansion
Freedman Seating has gone through sizeable increases in revenue, workforce, and space in the 21st century. A team of nearly 800 employees work out of two facilities: Chicago, IL and Rochester, IN (dba Freedman Mobility Seating) along with sales representation across the US. Freedman is headquartered on Chicago’s west side, 4501-4545 W. Augusta Blvd. in the original Motorola factory.

In 2023, Freedman purchased the remaining portion of the complex along Chicago Avenue to the south, bringing the total amount of manufacturing space to over 500,000 sq. ft. The additional space will allow Freedman Seating to continue investing in people and advanced manufacturing, including robotics and new technologies to support the growing needs of commercial and mass transportation in the US and Canada.

See an expanded timeline of major company events and learn how Freedman Seating will be celebrating 130 Years online at

About Freedman Seating Company
Freedman Seating is a seat manufacturer in Chicago, IL; designing, engineering, and manufacturing seat related products for many different markets, including small bus, mid-size coach, heavy-duty transit, rail, marine, delivery truck, and para-transit. Freedman Seating is a ISO 9001 registered company with an on-site A2LA Accredited Mechanical Testing Lab.



Media Contact
John-Paul Paonessa
Marketing Manager
773-524-2440 Ext. 394

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