From the first of the plywood series, the abbreviated Eames LCW Chair was the Lounge Height (L) Side Chair (C) on Wood (W) Base. Designed by Charles Eames and first manufactured by the Evans Molded Plywood Division, the chair has long gained classic status.
The techniques used to make these unique chairs had been developed during the war years and was evident in the Eames Splint, made for and utilized by the US Navy. The Eames LCW Plywood Chair is constructed of five layers of plywood, glued and heated using a specialist machine, in order to bend the wood into the form of the design.
By 1946, four plywood adult chairs had been developed for market release as well as the child's nested chair. The Eames LCW Side Chair had a dining height sister chair (DCW) and the two were replicated with metal bases in the DCM and LCM. The group as a whole would soon become known as the ‘Eames Chairs’ and was marketed as such through the early 50’s.
The LCW was a wonderful fusion of five separate molded plywood forms. The support was made up of two curved legs of different sizes and a formed spine. The back rest and seat were then fixed to the support via rubber shock mounts kept largely from view. The result was a chair of visual beauty and something of a revelation for the post war period.
The LCW was first developed between Charles Eames and the Evans Molded Plywood Division. Herman Miller was drafted in to distribute the furniture in 1947 and later went on to buy the rights and operation to the whole catalog in 1949, a start of an amazing design partnership.
The LCW was available in varying wood veneers and colors. The very basic upholstery of the early versions would soon be updated by Herman Miller’s involvement, especially with the designs of Alexander Girard.
As the 1950’s moved on and new designs and materials became fashionable, the demand for plywood furniture slowed. Herman Miller kept the DCM and LCM on the books but sadly the LCW was discontinued in 1957 but re-commissioned in 1994 and remains available today.
A video introduction to one of the earliest Charles and Ray Eames success stories, the Plywood LCW Chair. First manufactured by Evans Molded Plywood in 1946, Herman Miller took over distribution a year later and production by 1949. The video showcases a later edition Walnut veneer LCW that is entirely sympathetic to the original 1946 design which has changed very little since. Herman Miller discontinued the LCW in 1957 but thankfully re-introduced them as part of the 'Home Classics' range in 1994, using a variety of wood finishes since then.
|Seat Height||15.25”||38.74 cm|
|Top||5 Layers of Molded Plywood, glued and with Rubber Shock Mounts|
|Base||5 Layers of Molded Plywood, 2 molded leg pieces|
|Feet||None, alu feet|
It is necessary to point out that 'generations' of furniture designs don't actually exist in the form of intentional changes with the very pre-meditated thought that they will be used in the future for the aid of authenticating, ageing and valuing.
Generations happened naturally, as normal tweaks and an evolution of a design, perhaps even down to availability of parts as well as designated improvement. We interpret the most important changes and form them as 'generations' in order to help classify for the buyer, seller and collector.