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Michael Thonet

Michael Thonet (Boppard 1796 – Vienna 1871) trained as a cabinetmaker, specializing in geometric marquetry. A furniture designer and producer, in 1830 he began to experiment with using bent wood to make chairs, and in 1841 succeeded in filing a patent for a new process treating strips of beech with steam or boiling them in water and glue with minimal costs to provide an innovative, very light, flexible and durable material. In 1849 he moved to Vienna, opened a factory that manufactured chairs, coffee tables, clothes racks, etc., marked by their simple and linear design, with immediate and long-lasting success. Thonet opened new factories in Moravia and in Hungary to increase production and opened sales showrooms in the main European and American cities.