Bent Plywood Chair

An example of the postwar application of technology to design, a 1946 bent plywood chair designed by Herbert von Thaden. During WWII, Thaden served as a pilot and aerospace engineer who experimented with the use of plywood in aerospace design. After the war, Thaden partnered with Donald Lewis Jordan, an expert in manufacturing airplane parts, to form the Thaden-Jordan Furniture Corporation. This chair was never in mass production, perhaps because of the fragility of the single sheet of plywood to withstand everyday wear and tear. It is one of 12 made. Beneath the main seat, a second plywood sheet serves as a rear support while a thicker panel reinforces the seat’s underside. A brass slot fastener allows adjustment between two different seat heights. This chair appears to have been refinished previously. Approximate measurements in inches: 19.75 inches wide, 25 inches deep, 38 inches high.