Michael Thonet Austria (1796-1871)

Michael Thonet was a German-Austrian designer known for the invention of bentwood furniture. The son of a master tanner, Thonet began making furniture out of glued and bent wooden slats in the 1830s. Thonet's breakthrough was his success in steaming strong wood and bending it into graceful shapes. The steamed bentwood process allowed him to design lightweight and durable furniture.

Although Thonet furniture production peaked in 1912 – with two million different products manufactured – his bentwood masterpieces are remain popular to this day. Combining a fashionable aesthetic with a functional appeal, many Thonet models have became icons of design history.