Thursday, August 05, 2010
Shopping from the Past: Hairpin Legs
I know, I know, mid-century modern furniture. But c'mon, lots of it is way cool, and one of my favorite details is a nice set of hairpin legs.
I'm an amateur furniture maker, so I got pretty excited when I found www.hairpinlegs.com, the web shop for a machine shop in Columbus, Ohio.
Apparently they just crank out hairpin legs in several variations, ideal for that custom coffee table or side board that you're working on. I have a nice pair of book-matched walnut boards that I'm going to turn into a coffee table later this summer.
Once I started poking around the history of the hairpin leg, things got really interesting. They were designed by Henry Glass in 1942. The austere lines of the legs minimize the amount of material needed to make them - a boon to the war effort. Like a less-famous version of Fuller, Glass got involved in just about everything, designing cars, houses, radios, and furniture.
He was born in Vienna, fled the Nazis in 1938, and lived an active life in design until his death at 92. Well done, sir.