Imagine designing something today that would still be in production in the year 2165. It's virtually unthinkable, no? Yet cabinetmaker Michael Thonet designed his iconic Chair No. 14, often referred to as the Thonet Chair, 153 years ago in 1859. And today, in Manhattan alone, you can find any number of bistros and cafes littered with them.
This quick, sub-five-minute documentary looks at the No. 14, hailed as "the most successful industrial product of the 19th century," and shows you how that came to be. The new-at-the-time bentwood manufacturing technology, an ingenious packing method that was a precursor to flatpack, and of course the design itself all played a role. (Don't forget to note the proper pronunciation of "Thonet," so you can be that person at the cocktail party that corrects everyone.)(more...)