The Dowel Base

Welcome to our second blog post! They may not be coming thick and fast but we shall be steadily adding more and more interesting blogs for you wonderful readers and to help you with learning different aspects about Eames products.

Quite possibly one of the most iconic parts of the Eames collection is the dowel base used on the Eames fiberglass side and arm shells. Other than the iconic Lounge Chair and Ottoman, this piece is known widely as ‘The Eames Chair’. Easily the most popular version of the revolutionary ‘Shell Chair’ collection, it might surprise you to learn that it was not always the case.

When it was first introduced in the early 1950s it was only produced for a very small number of years due to it suffering with many problems. Sadly, it kept breaking and so Herman Miller quickly discontinued it (which makes finding original vintage ones very difficult but, if you do, they can be worth a lot!) preferring to use the, already established, ‘H’ base and the classic Rod base, more commonly known as the ‘Eiffel base’.

It was only very recently that this simple yet beautiful base was re-introduced by Herman Miller and this time they did it with the added improvement of metal rod inserts in the leg (making them a lot stronger). It is from this point that this modest little base has finally seen the popularity it always should have had and, within a few short years, has helped propel it to be the most sought-after base for the beautiful Eames fiberglass shell (especially when offered in a mesmerizing selection of natural wood finishes which you can see on our site).

We believe it has become popular due to its timeless feel, much like the shells themselves. They work effortlessly with both the standard fiberglass and upholstered shells and on both side and arm variants whilst being versatile enough to comfortably sit in almost any environment, be it dining room table or office space. They simultaneously look ‘homely’ and ‘official’, especially with the wide range of shells that can be applied to them!

We hope this has been an interesting read for you and hopefully there might be some fun facts in this blog post which can be used some time in the future!

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