A walk down CBS memory lane

I recently came across a couple of old Colebrook Bosson Saunders product catalogues from the late 1990s and it’s interesting to see the scale of evolution of some of our product ranges and the consistency of others.

1997 Brochure Front Cover

Before flat screens started to become popular in the early 2000s, people were using CRT monitors that were heavy and awkward for the user to position – as well as occupying a considerable amount of desk space. CBS worked to improve this situation with a range of CRT monitor supports.

The Bolton monitor arm, featured in our 1997 product brochure, provided 360˚ swivel and height adjustment through a winder mechanism. Furthermore, screens could be tilted through the turn of a screw on the base panel.

Bolton Arms – 1997 

An integral keyboard support unit was later added as an additional feature. At first glance, it seems odd and unergonomic to have a keyboard suspended above the desk without wrist support. But it was actually designed as a place to store a keyboard when not in use in order to free up desk space.

Bolton Arm BN6 & 8 – 1997

1999 proved to be a pivotal year for CBS as it was the year that we launched the world’s first flat screen monitor arm – Wishbone. Though most offices were still using CRT monitors at this time, the multi screen demands of trade floors led the industry to be early adopters of flat screen technology.
Wishbone – 1999 Brochure

Despite having undergone a steady evolution, the core design of Wishbone has remained consistent over the last 15 years and it remains popular to this day for multi-screen configurations with over a million units sold.

2014 Wishbone multi-screen configuration

Some of our product lines from the 1990s were completely discontinued. The 1997 catalogue contained a page on Organisation that featured Portfolio Cases and the CBS Coat Hanger (does anyone remember this?).

Organisation – 1997 

We also provided keyboard aids such as the ergonomic Wrist Rest that is no longer as pertinent with the thinner nature of keyboards and the diversification of input devices.

Keyboard Aids – 1997

But one thing that has stayed consistent in the last 20 years is the dedication to design, ergonomics and the integration of people with new technologies and this will continue into the foreseeable future.