Who doesn’t know this icon of modern style design? It is part of the permanent collection of New York’s Museum of Modern Art, has appeared in countless television shows and films and has been relentlessly copied. Its design has remained unchanged for more than 50 years. It is, simply put, a wonderful thing.
But did you ever see its introduction? In 1956, the Eames’ had been mostly focused on creating mass-producible and affordable furniture. The Eames Lounge Chair — or Eames Lounge (670) and Ottoman (671) as they are officially titled — was the first chair that the couple designed for a luxury market. It made its debut on NBC’s Arlene Francis’ Home Show, a not so succesful pre-cursor to today’s daytime TV. I was extremely pleased to find a full twelve minutes dedicated to its revealing (including dramatic intro music) and a somewhat ambiguous assembly clip.
If you’re in a hurry, skip to 8:02 and enjoy.