Released to the market in 1964, the Eames Segmented Tables were a group of dining, work and conference tables designed with an ingenious base system that allowed for an almost indefinite number of top size possibilities, expansion and versatility unrivaled anywhere in the marketplace.
The base of the table was the significant factor in its success. Instead of a one-piece cast section, as seen with the Contract and Universal Base tables, each part of the base was literally fashioned from segments (hence the name) right down to individual feet, columns and cross beams. Varying numbers of parts and an array of sizes of crossbeams led to the versatility for which the series excelled.
Once fully assembled, the style of the base resembled that of a slightly higher Universal Table type but a quick look to the bottom section and one can see the individual pieces that make the base of the table. From small circular ‘dining’ tables, rectangular and giant oval worktables through to huge 16 or 20-foot-long conference tables, the Segmented base allowed for all possibilities to be custom made.
Such was the versatility and application of the Eames Segmented Table group that they proved to be a huge success and out sold other Eames designed tables by countless numbers. Though the numbers of finishes and sizes were reduced more recently, they remain on the catalog today as they have since their first inception.
This is a great question! The Eames Segmented tables literally had more specification possibilities than the Eames Fiberglass chairs, and that is saying something. The versatility of the series made it a mainstay for commercial installations, perhaps more than for that of home use.
Released in 1964, the popularity of the table increased during the rest of the 1960's to the point that by the early 1970's the range and portfolio of available options reached its peak. The series included small circular tables, grand circular tables, oval, oval conference 'boats', rectangular and square options too. The tables continued to be popular choices for the home ( but more commercially) right up until the 2000's and remain on the catalog today.
The Eames Segmented Tables were designated as model 64100 series:
This 1964 Herman Miller catalog extract depicts just some of the 64100 series Segmented Table options available including circular, grand circular, rectangular and oval variants.
The buyer also had the ability to customize their table and the original 64100 series had the choice of 26 tops and 5 corresponding bases.
As the series continued to grow, the number of available options increased and by the 1970's had grown to some 47 top size choices , all available with a 28½" table height, with 36 of those sizes also available in a 25½" height size. The increased portfolio consisted mostly of additional conference tables, which measure up to some 22 feet (264 inches) as well as an 'executive range' which featured natural stone such as Italian White Marble.
The series was also re-coded and was given an ET (Eames Table) 100 or 200 series code.
The Full list is shown below:
The initial thinking behind the Eames Segmented Tables was very much that they would be aimed towards the commercial and executive market, even though there were dining table sizes available. Right from the outset therefore, the tables were made available with beautiful natural veneers including Rosewood and Walnut.
Over the years and with the growth of demand ever increasing, the range added a whole host of other finish options for the tops. The below is a list of a great many but is by no means exhaustive:
|Natural Veneer||(Early) Rosewood, Walnut, White Oak, Dark Stained White Oak, Teak (Later) Beech, Cherry, Red Cherry, Maple|
|Faux Veneer||(Early) White Oak Grain, Walnut Grain, Teak Grain, Rosewood Grain (Later) Light Ash, Mahogany, Mahogany Dark|
|Laminates||(Early) White, Grey, Neutral Light (Later) Inner Tone, Just Tan, Light Grey, Light Tone, Soft White, Vanilla, Wheat, Celery, Coriander, Chamomile, Cinnamon, Cardamom, Kale, Frosted Grey, Frosted Slate Grey, Frosted Black, Grey Nebula|
|Base Finishes||(Early) Black, Chrome, Aluminum, (Later) Black Umber, Cool Tone, Inner Tone Light, Light Tone, Soft White, Medium Tone, Slate Grey|
|Edging Finishing||(Early) Grey, Black Vinyl (Later) Matching veneer & vinyl edging options in matching choices|
The 'executive' Segmented Tables were a small number of options available with high quality Italian White Marble and the choice of the normal combination aluminum bases or fully chromed.
Note each piece of the Segmented Table base is individual and connected through slots and hooks
Original 1964 Herman Miller catalog image of a Rosewood Segmented conference table and time life desk chairs
The base of the Segmented Table was made of interchangeable vertical columns, connecting bars and aluminum feet, all separate parts (Image courtesy of D Rose Mod)
1964 Herman Miller catalog image of the 'Grand Circular' size Segmented Table which utilized a square shaped four column base
The table tops, like that of the Contract and Universal type, used a vinyl edging to ward off bumps and chips
A 16 foot long conference table in a boat shape, shown fully surrounded with Alu Group desk/conference chairs
A small round 'executive' table sporting the Italian White Marble finish from the late 1970's (Image courtesy of D Rose Mod)
By the early 2000's the choices of top finishes was so large that catalog pages were devoted to listing them