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What is this?

Form constructed of five shaped pieces of laminated and bent wood: contoured trapezoidal seat and back; front legs made from single narrow strip, horse-shoe shaped and tapered; shorter back legs made in same manner. Legs, seat and back connected by continuous wide ribbon of plywood. Shellacked.

Why is this in our collection?

Icon of modern design husband-and-wife design team Charles and Ray Eames wanted to create a single-shell, molded-plywood chair, for which no manufacturing system yet existed. In 1941, in their Los Angeles apartment, the Eameses developed a curing oven—using scrap woods and spare bicycle parts—that heated and pressurized thin layers of resin-soaked wood, which could be molded into shapes. They used the machine—dubbed Kazam!—to develop a leg splint and aircraft parts for the US Navy during World War II. They then applied this experience to postwar commercial furniture production. Scrapping the idea for a single-shell chair as impractical and expensive, the Eameses designed a line of molded-plywood furniture, including the DCW. The chair’s parts, back, seat, and legs are attached with rubber shock mounts via a special adhesive, so screws are not visible from the front, adding to its lightness and elegance. Producer Herman Miller eventually reduced the molding process to ten minutes, plus time for finishing work, helping to keep prices low and accessible to middle-class Americans in search of modern household furnishings.

This is a side chair from United States. It is dated 1946 and we acquired it in 1963. Gift of Anonymous Donor.

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ This object is currently resting in our storage facility.

Its medium is

molded and bent plywood, rubber

Its dimensions are

H x W x D: 72.5 x 46 x 58 cm (28 9/16 x 18 1/8 x 22 13/16 in.)

This object was designed by Charles Eames and Ray Eames and manufactured by Herman Miller Furniture Company

This object was catalogued by Tom Lennox and donated by Unknown

A timeline of event horizons

See more stuff from the Product Design and Decorative Arts department.

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If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=DCW Side Chair, 1946 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=30 July 2015 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>

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