Watch the Amazing Process of Manufacturing an Iconic Eames Shell Chair

By Mario Aguilar on at

When the Eames debuted their now-legendary shell chair in 1950, it became the first mass-produced plastic chair in the world. This wasn't just an aesthetic icon—it was also a wonder of manufacturing and engineering. Now, Herman Miller is giving us a glimpse of how it's made.

A short design history of the chair, published by Herman Miller recently, offers a concise breakdown of its recently resurrected manufacturing process. And because this is 2014, the company has used GIFs to outline the various stages of production. Check out a few of the steps below, but be sure to head over to Herman Miller and check out the company's Instagram for more short media on the topic. [Herman Miller]

Herman Miller's modified fibreglass resin coating recipe gets mixed together in vats

Watch the Amazing Process of Manufacturing an Iconic Eames Shell Chair


Then the resin is smoothly applied to a preform cradle made of fibreglass strands

Watch the Amazing Process of Manufacturing an Iconic Eames Shell Chair


The coated preform is placed in a press where the excess strands are cut off

Watch the Amazing Process of Manufacturing an Iconic Eames Shell Chair


The edges of the shell are hand-sanded and then polished with an electric sander

Watch the Amazing Process of Manufacturing an Iconic Eames Shell Chair


Machine cut and sown upholstery is attached to the chair and sealed in place with heat

Watch the Amazing Process of Manufacturing an Iconic Eames Shell Chair


The legs are attached to the chair's shock mounts before it's tagged, boxed, and shipped

Watch the Amazing Process of Manufacturing an Iconic Eames Shell Chair