Released in 1951, ETR was the abbreviated name of the Elliptical (E) Table (T) on a Rod (R) base. It was the follow up and sister table to the LTR which had been released a year previous. Like the LTR, the Eames ETR table stood very low and had a very distinctive shape which helped coin the alternative name of the Eames 'Surfboard' table.
The Eames ETR table was part of the new wave of furniture started in the early 1950's that moved away from the look and feel of the all wood designs of the past, including the Eames own plywood chairs and tables. Still constructed of 5 layers of ply, the top was coated in a black Micarta and the base was constructed of two separate rectangular sections built from bent wire, resistance welded together.
For a coffee table the Eames ETR was very long and it required a space big enough to be able to accommodate it. At only ten inches, the table was also built very low and the rod bases on which it stood were available in either zinc plate or black powder coated finish.
The Eames 'surfboard' table would be sold until 1964 when it was discontinued but it was part of Herman Miller's relaunch of classic Eames pieces in 1994. Unlike other plywood tables such as the DTM or LTR, the ETR was never made available in natural veneer finishes, only the black laminate during the first period. The post 1994 re-release would see Herman Miller make the ETR available for the first time in a white laminated finish alongside the original black. Such is the popularity of the ETR that it still remains on the catalog today.
|Top||5-layer Birch core, later 7-ply layer Birch core|
|Finish||Black Micarta Laminated Plastic, Later also White|
|Base||Bent welded steel in black and white (later)|
For most Eames designs, generations can only really be determined through interpretation, seeking changes that help to differentiate the final product at varying stages of its life. Some of these changes are not entirely clear and some will be more of a natural or accidental development as opposed to clear defined, purposeful alterations. The ETR however is much clearer than most as the table ran from 1950 till 1964 and from 1994 until present. The table's two clear and concise generation builds can be dictated by whether they were made int he first or second period, as set out below:
The edge of the first generation ETR table with 5 thick layers of ply
The first generation of ETR tables were made from 1951 through till 1964 where they were discontinued.
The first generation is easily spotted by looking at the layers of plywood in its construction. There are 5 'chunky' layers which are especially thick in the center sections.
The first generations were only made with black laminate plastic finishes, there were no other colors or wood options available.
The base may be zinc plated or black and the first generation may have a number of label possibilities, foil strip, half label or either of the medallions.
The thin layers of the 2nd generation ETR are like a tiger strip, very evenly distributed
The second generation of the Eames ETR table is very easy to see by looking at the edge and layers of ply. There are 7 layers which can look like 14 as there are dark and light sections to each layer, almost tiger stripe like, and very evenly sized.
The second generation begun when the table was re-commissioned in 1994 until present.
A white laminate option was added for purchase of the second generation ETR tables.
The table can be found with varying labels which will define the age, these include the black strip, silver strip, oval and rectangular labels.
The ETR uses two of the rectangular bent rod metal base sections, as also seen on the LTR side table, which were available in Zinc or black