Culture

14 vintage advertisements from major 20th century publishers

If you like design & vintage furniture, these names of great 20th century furniture editors should sound familiar to you: Knoll, Herman Miller, Airborne…

Through this article and our selection of 14 beautiful vintage ads, we wanted to highlight the ads of these great brands. On each of them, you will recognize iconic furniture signed by famous designers: Eames, Bertoia, Saarinen etc. A nice way to rediscover these mythical pieces from a whole new angle!

KNOLL

Knoll is an American company founded in 1938 by Hans and Florence Knoll. It is renowned for its particularly creative and avant-garde approach to design. Many 20th century designers have worked with Knoll: Harry Bertoïa, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Eero Saarinen.

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HERMAN MILLER

Herman Miller was a businessman from West Michigan. In 1923, he helped his son-in-law D.J. De Pree in the acquisition of the Michigan Star Furniture Company. The young man decided to honour his father-in-law by naming the company Herman Miller. The company quickly became very successful thanks to its collaborations with Charles & Ray Eames and George Neslon.

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AIRBORNE

In 1951, Charles Bernard created the company specialising in Airborne chairs. He quickly decided to publish the famous Butterfly chair designed by Kurchan, Ferrari-Hardoy and Bonet in 1938. In homage to the magazine Architecture d’Aujourd’hui

directed by his friend André Bloc, Charles Bernard renamed the chair with his initials: “AA”.

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For those who are curious, here is the text on this last advertisement:

“Yep. It’s all there. Because we are convinced with Madame de Sévigné that “most of our ills come from having our asses in the saddle”. And in all attitudes where it has the obligation to sit down and rest: at home, at the office, at the restaurant, at the show. Our job is to sit you down. Anatomically, socially and almost philosophically. All our chairs, armchairs, warmers, footstools, sofas, sofa beds, chairs, bridges, cinema chairs, typing chairs, office chairs, auditorium chairs, etc. are all born of a careful observation of your person. For example: if a chair has a polyester shell, it is to better fit your delicate curves. If the shell is reinforced with fibreglass, it’s because the delicate curvature may weigh you down. For us, sitting well means forgetting that we are sitting. Forget that you have a medium, large, small buttocks with a ‘pyramid’ and a ‘squared crural’. Sit in Airborne. And never think about it again.”

ARTIFORT

In 1890, Jules Wagemans founded the company Artifort in Maastricht. Originally dedicated to upholstery, the company quickly diversified its range of products to include chairs, sofas and tables. Artifort is known throughout the world for the quality of its pieces.

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PASTOE

The Dutch company was founded in 1913 by Frits Loeb, son of a prominent German merchant family who had lived in Holland. At first, Pastoe simply sold furniture. It was not until the First World War that the company became a furniture publisher.

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