USM takes its initials from its founder, Ulrich Schärer, and Münsingen, the Swiss village just outside of Bern where he was born. Since its creation in 1885 and without interruption, the company USM has stayed rooted in Münsingen, Switzerland.
It was originally a family-run metal factory housed in a traditional building, but it was Paul Schärer Jr., grandson of the founder and father of the current leader, who, with the intention of strengthening industrialisation, steered USM into the modern world in the early 1960s.
In 1961, he commissioned the Swiss architect Fritz Haller, one of the most influential Swiss architects of the second half of the 20th century, to design a new type of flexible building that could accommodate, on the one hand, the administration of the company, and on the other, adapt to various manufacturing processes, and be able to evolve over time with the rapid development of the company.
Once the new USM factory opened, Paul Schärer Jr., realised that the only furniture available were traditional wooden pieces, far from the functionalist aesthetic of the buildings. Together, Paul Schärer Jr. and Fritz Haller developed the USM Haller fitting system, which has since become an international benchmark for furniture.