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Company Timeline

1950

Herman Miller becomes the first company in Michigan to adopt the Scanlon Plan, a program of participative management and gain sharing. This begins a long relationship with Dr. Carl Frost, who will guide the company's participative endeavors for many years.

The world's first molded fiberglass chairs, designed by Charles and Ray Eames, are introduced by Herman Miller. Eames storage units and wire base tables are introduced.

1951

Herman Miller begins its long association with Alexander Girard, noted colorist and textile designer.

The Eames elliptical table is introduced.

1952

Girard leads the newly formed Herman Miller Textile Division.

Nelson bubble lamps are introduced.

1953

Girard wallpapers and the Eames Hang-It-All are introduced.

1954

Nelson pedestal tables and the Eames sofa compact are introduced.

1955

Eames storage units are discontinued. They will be reintroduced in 1998.

The Eames molded plywood folding screen is discontinued. It will be reintroduced in 1994.

Nelson coconut lounge chairs and Eames stacking/ganging chairs are introduced.

1956

The Eames lounge chair and ottoman are introduced on national television (The Today Show). The chair is to become a highly visible emblem of Herman Miller quality and innovation.

The Nelson marshmallow sofa is introduced.

1957

The Eames molded plywood chair, molded plywood lounge chair, and molded plywood coffee table are discontinued. They will be reintroduced in 1994.

Herman Miller begins selling its products to the European market.

1958

Robert Propst becomes a Herman Miller researcher.

Herman Miller begins building its Zeeland headquarters complex. George Nelson is the primary architect. A new plant opens in Venice, California, and a showroom opens in San Francisco.

Eames aluminum group chairs are introduced.

1959

Nelson's Comprehensive Storage System, which uses vertical space to free up living space, is introduced.

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