In 1885, Ulrich Schärer founded an ironworks and locksmith's workshop in Münsingen near Bern, Switzerland - the first step towards the international design company USM. In 1961, Paul Schärer joined the company and commissioned local architect Fritz Haller to build new factory and administrative buildings: a commission which resulted in the formation of the modular furniture system USM Haller in 1963. Initially intended only for the administrative building in Münsingen, in 1969, the USM Haller furniture entered series production and the marketing and distribution of the furniture system began - something accompanied by the first large commission, the furniture of the Rothschild bank in Paris. In 1975, USM & Schärer Söhne GmbH was founded in Bühl, Germany, where today the 4th generation of Schärers lead the company in the person of Alexander Schärer. The USM Haller modular furniture system entered the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 2001. Today, USM has showrooms all over the world, including Tokyo, London, Paris, and Hamburg.