No. 14 chair

No. 14 Chair
Michael Thonet 14.jpg
Designer : Michael Thonet
Date : 1859
Country : Moravia then Austria
Materials : Wood, Steam-bent Beechwood, 10 screws, and 2 nuts.
Style/Tradition : Classic
Colours : Light brown wood.
Original version without braces showing the cane seat

The No. 14 chair is the most famous chair made by the Thonet chair company. Also known as the bistro chair, it was designed by Michael Thonet and introduced in 1859, becoming the world's first mass-produced item of furniture.[1][2] It is made using a unique steam-bending technology, known as bentwood, that required years to perfect. With its affordable price and simple design, it became one of the best-selling chairs ever made. Some 50 million No. 14s were sold between 1859 and 1930, and millions more have been sold since.[3]

Thonet's No. 14 was made of six pieces of steam-bent wood, ten screws, and two nuts. The wooden parts were made by heating beechwood slats to 100 °C (212 °F), pressing them into curved cast-iron moulds, and then drying them at around 70 °C (158 °F) for 20 hours.[4] The chairs could be mass-produced by unskilled workers and disassembled to save space during transportation.[1]

Later chairs, as illustrated here, were made of eight pieces of wood: two diagonal braces were added between the seat and back, to strengthen this hard-worked joint.

The design was a response to a requirement for cafe-style chairs. The seat was often made of woven cane or palm, because the holes in the seat would let spilt liquid drain off the chair.

Chair No 14 is still produced by Gebrüder Thonet Vienna.[5] Ton,[6] and by Thonet (as 214).[7]

  1. ^ a b Murphy, Adrian (5 November 2019). "The Chair Men: Gebrüder Thonet and the Number 14 Chair". Europeana (CC By-SA). Retrieved 2019-11-05.
  2. ^ "A Brief History of Sleek Seats". Wall Street Journal. June 15, 2012. Retrieved 16 June 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^ Alice Rawsthorn (7 November 2008). "No. 14: The chair that has seated millions". International Herald Tribune. Archived from the original on 2008-11-13. Retrieved 7 January 2009. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ Bettina Becker (June 2007). "Thonet - A modern design institution". Goethe-Institut. Archived from the original on 2008-09-22. Retrieved 7 January 2009. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ "N. 14". Gebrüder Thonet Vienna. Retrieved 2019-11-05.
  6. ^ "14 Design Michael Thonet, 1859". Ton.
  7. ^ "214 Design Gebrüder Thonet, 1859". Thonet.