Released in 1950, the abbreviated LTR stood for the Low (L) Table (T) with Rod base (R). Following the success of the plywood group in the latter half of the 1940's, the Eames LTR side table would form part of a new and exciting wave of furniture designs which included the fiberglass arm series as well as the sister ETR coffee table. This new array of products would move further away from the traditional wood-based furniture of the past, utilizing new materials and producing previously unseen shapes and forms.
The Eames LTR lived entirely up to its name, with a very low height and small top, something one would expect to see in a Japanese Tea House. It was initially marketed as a handy side or incidental table which could even be used as a stool, due to the strength of the metal base and strong molded plywood form for the top.
The bent metal rod base was a product of the experimentation process of the Eames Office in designing multiple base types for the Fiberglass chairs. The welded steel frames proved to be very strong and durable and provide a modern contemporary visual look. They were initially available zinc plated but also black and (later) white frames would also be used.
Upon release the Eames LTR side table was available in either a Birch, Walnut or Black veneer. As the 1950’s moved on more finishes would be introduced including the white laminate top. Into the 1970’s and beyond Herman Miller discontinued all but the white laminate finish until the mid 1990's when once again they started to manufacture the table with wood and laminated black as options. In 2012 the Formica company produced 8 special patterned laminates for the table, but they were only used as corporate gifts as opposed to general sale, making them quite rare finds. In the 2010's Herman Miller released the LTRT, an outdoor version of the table with black and white marble top options.
|Top||5 layers of Birch ply core, 7 layers after late 1970's|
|Finish||Birch, Walnut, Rosewood, Ash, Marble, Stone, Formica Patterns, White & Black laminated|
|Base||Bent welded steel in Zinc Plate, black or white (later) powder coating|
View of a modern made Eames LTR table in Walnut veneer finish, edging shows the 7 layers (each layer has a dark and light line) of ply on the newer tables. Older versions were built differently with 5 layers of ply
This 2005 Herman Miller catalog image depicts the newer modern LTR available in both black and white