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Company Timeline

1942

The Executive Office Group, designed by Gilbert Rohde, signals Herman Miller's entry into the office-furniture market. Modular and versatile, EOG is a precursor of systems furniture.

Herman Miller's Los Angeles showroom opens.

Charles and Ray Eames are commissioned by the Navy to develop lightweight, molded plywood leg splints.

1944

Gilbert Rohde dies, De Pree begins searching for a new design leader.

1945

After seeing an article in Life magazine on George Nelson and his Storagewall design, D.J. De Pree hires him to serve as the company's first design director.

1946

The Nelson Office designs the stylized "m" logo and introduces a new corporate image for Herman Miller.

The Nelson platform bench is introduced.

The Eames molded plywood chair, molded plywood lounge chair, molded plywood folding screen, and molded plywood coffee table are introduced.

New York's Museum of Modern Art installs a small exhibition called "New Furniture Designed by Charles Eames"--the museum's first one-man furniture show.

Nelson and De Pree recruit Charles and Ray Eames into the Herman Miller fold.

1947

Herman Miller gains exclusive market and distribution rights to the Eameses' award-winning molded plywood products. These rights are acquired from the Evans Products Company of Grand Haven, Michigan, which retains production rights.

1948

Herman Miller publishes and sells a bound, hardcover product catalog, written by George Nelson and designed by the Nelson Office. The catalog articulates Herman Miller's philosophy and principles about business and design. It is believed to be the first time a furniture catalog is sold, rather than distributed free. It becomes a collector's item.

Herman Miller introduces a glass-topped coffee table designed by Isamu Noguchi.

1949

Molded plywood manufacturing moves from the Grand Haven, Michigan, manufacturing site of Evans Products to a Herman Miller manufacturing facility in Zeeland. Another manufacturing plant, which later becomes the Eames Studio, opens in Venice, California.

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