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Category Archives: Michael Thonet

Thonet History

Yes, I am fascinated by the Thonet History!

I copied this short history time line from the German Thonet Factory‘s site:

  • 1796 Company founder Michael Thonet was born in Boppard am Rhein, Germany.
  • 1819 The Thonet firm was founded in Boppard am Rhein.
  • 1842 Prince Metternich called Michael Thonet to Vienna where Thonet played a leading role in the fitting out of Palais Lichtenstein and Palais Schwarzenberg.
  • 1853 Michael Thonet handed over the business to his five sons: the company Gebrüder Thonet was registered.
  • 1856 The first furniture factory was founded in Korycany (Moravia); five further production plants in Eastern Europe were opened in the years that followed.
  • 1859 The consumer chair Thonet No. 14 (today: No. 214…in Germany) reached the production stage.
  • 1889 Founding of the factory in Frankenberg/Eder as the first production plant in Germany.
  • 1912 Highest production level of 2 million articles per year.
  • 1923 Merger to become Thonet Mundus.
  • 1929 Takeover of Marcel Breuer and Kálmán Lengyel’scompany Standard Möbel and purchase of the rights to designs by Marcel Breuer.
  • 1931 Production start for the first cantilevered chair S 43 by Mart Stam.
  • 1938 Thonet Mundus shares bought back by the Thonet family.
  • 1945 Dispossession from the facilities in Eastern Europe and destruction of the Thonet building in Vienna; bomb attack on the facility in Frankenberg.
  • 1945-1953 Factory in Frankenberg rebuilt by Georg Thonet.
  • 1953 Thonet exhibition in the Museum of Modern Art, New York City.
  • 1961 The Federal Court of Justice confirms Mart Stam’s artistic copyright of the cantilever chair
  • 1989 Opening of the Thonet Museum in its current form.

I have followed the development of the website over quite some years now, but finally it is getting better and better only recently.

In addition it is interesting to know that the Austrian Firm has been acquired by Poltrona Frau, the Italian chair manufacturer, who do less and less with their web presence.