Object Timeline

1946

  • Work on this object began.

2016

2019

  • You found it!

LCW Chair, ca. 1946

This is a Chair. It was designed by Charles Eames and Ray Kaiser Eames and manufactured by Evans Products Company, Molded Plywood Division. It is dated ca. 1946 and we acquired it in 2016. Its medium is molded, bent, laminated, and ebonized plywood, rubber (shock mounts), metal screws. It is a part of the Product Design and Decorative Arts department.

Both the LCM (Low Chair Metal) and LCW (Low Chair Wood) were borne from the experiments that Charles and Ray Eames made with bent plywood in a spare room of their Venice Beach apartment after World War II. They had started this work during the war when they worked with the armed forces to develop a series of leg splints that could be used to more easily evacuate soldiers with injuries to their lower extremities from the battlefield (1986-99-43).

After the war, they envisioned using this same plywood-shaping technique to develop furniture. Their initial goal was to create a chair with single-piece seat and back, but could not resolve the appearance of cracks in the plywood at the sharpest curves. They abandoned this original idea and molded the seat and back as separate pieces – the basis for the LCW and LCM chairs that we know today. Satisfied with the shapes they were able to consistently produce, the Eames’ set about fixing the seat and back to chair legs and a spine. They developed both wood and metal alternatives, and pleased with both, put each version into production. They fixed each with rubber shock absorbers for the comfort of the user, and over time developed a number of variations to both the LCW and LCM, using different wood species, dyes and lacquers, and skinning the surfaces with leathers or hides.

This object was donated by David Teiger Trust. It is credited Gift of the David Teiger Trust.

Its dimensions are

H x W x D: 67.9 × 55.9 × 50.5 cm (26 3/4 in. × 22 in. × 19 7/8 in.)

It has the following markings

Stamped "E29"; inscribed "3344" with grease pen

Cite this object as

LCW Chair, ca. 1946; Designed by Charles Eames and Ray Kaiser Eames; molded, bent, laminated, and ebonized plywood, rubber (shock mounts), metal screws; H x W x D: 67.9 × 55.9 × 50.5 cm (26 3/4 in. × 22 in. × 19 7/8 in.); Gift of the David Teiger Trust; 2016-36-3

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If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://www-6.collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/823323081/ |title=LCW Chair, ca. 1946 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=21 October 2019 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>