The Eames splint

After meeting in Michigan at the @cranbrook_art Academy of Arts in 1940, Charles and Ray #Eames moved to Los Angeles not knowing a soul besides one another and Charles reluctantly took a job as a carpenter and set designer at MGM Studios.


Soon after America’s entrance into WWII in 1941, an old friend of Charles’s, Navy medical doctor #WendellScott, visited the Eames. When Scott saw molded plywood seat models (that the couple had made at home with a machine they called Kazam), he told Charles that a molded plywood splint could address the insufficiencies of the metal version. #MargaretHarris, a theater designer working in MGM’s costume department, designed a basic pattern for the veneer layup and over time her skill in this area would prove critical by adding “darts” which were crucial to the development of the leg splint. The darts facilitated the molding of the wood, and they also served as gaps through which bandages could be wound, ensuring that the splint would stay on the leg.

By fall, the Navy liked what it saw and in November 1942 ordered 5,000 splints. Soon, however, the difficulties in implementing the military contract led to an agreement between Charles and Col. Edward S. Evans, owner of the Michigan-based woods production company #EvansProducts/#EvansPlywoodCompany. The splint would go on to be a great success and it is estimated that 150.000 #Eamessplint may have been produced.

What Charles and Ray learned from the experience proved integral to the development of the famous #EamesChair aka #LoungeChairWood (#LCW). Though Col. Evans died in 1945, Evans Products produced Charles’s designs for his 1946 exhibit at the @themuseumofmodernart in New York. The show expanded the popularity of Eames furniture among both the public and manufacturers, launching it well beyond the niche community of designers attracted by their earlier achievement: the #OrganicChair from the 1940-1941 #MOMA competition now referred to as Organic Designs.

The splint stand was crafted by @finvint.

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