History Lesson: Eames Lounger & Ottoman
“Charles and Ray Eames made the lounge chair and ottoman as a gift for their friend Billy Wilder, the director of “Some Like It Hot” and “Sunset Blvd.” When we began manufacturing the set in 1956, we maintained as much of the hand-craftsmanship as was possible with mass production. Throughout the Eames/Nelson era, we came closer than anyone else to incorporating craft ideals into the mass production of furniture.”
Here is more information from the Herman Miller Company regarding production of the chair:
“But over the years, some efforts to improve the quality of the pieces came at the expense of craft. We chose a contract-grade leather that wore better and faded less than the original aniline leather, and in doing so we surrendered some of the soft hand of the original leather. We discontinued oiled wood finishes in the 1980s in favor of the more efficient and easily maintained lacquer.
Now we are restoring the balance—and letting you make the choice. The new MCL Leather provides much of the softness and “sink-into-it-iveness” of the original, along with durability and color-fastness. The oiled finishes, while requiring periodic maintenance, produce the rich, lustrous look of the original veneers.
These pieces have evolved over the years– from handmade for a friend, to made on a production line with handcrafting details, to alterations meant to ensure consistency and durability, to reviving some of the original craft qualities while maintaining durability.”
More photos of the Eames Lounger: