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 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