Growing Up

Production Advancements in Molded Plywood

Pieces from the collection of children’s furniture designed by Charles and Ray Eames in 1945 are the earliest forms to be produced by the duo. The children’s furniture designs marked the first attempt for a larger production run of the experimental development of molded plywood chairs. The small scale of the table, chair and stools as well as the ease of construction allowed Molded Plywood and Evans Products to slowly transition into the manufacturing of furniture and to find the best methods for production. Further, these pieces were the first consumer goods produced and marketed by the industrial supply company.

Despite the use of molded plywood by designers such as Marcel Breuer and Alvar Aalto as early as the 1930s, the Eames designs illustrate an advancement of technology. Each of the works in the collection feature uniformity of material as well as compound curves for strength. The production of the children’s furniture was short-lived, yet these pieces opened the door for the mass-production and distribution of the Eames plywood designs such as the DCW, LCW and CTW.