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In the Navy…

July 4th 2023

Our Navy chair is a plastic version of a chair inspired by the Emeco 1006 which is also known as the Navy chair. The metal 1006 Emeco/Navy chair was first produced in 1944. During World War 11 these chairs were commonplace on the decks of Navy warships. Following the war, they became a designer chair that could be found in high end restaurants and eateries. They appeared to be interior designers restaurant chair of choice.

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The Emeco 1006 chair was the brainchild of Wilton C. Dingles who worked in collaboration with Aluminium Company of America (ALCOA) to develop it. Originally designed for the US Navy, the chair needed to be up to the task of sitting pretty on the deck of battleships, surviving sea, air and torpedo blasts. The chairs had eye bolts to the underside of the seat which meant they could be attached to a ship deck using cables. It is said the when competing for the Navy contract, Dingles demonstrated the chair's durability by throwing it out of an eighth floor window of a Chicago hotel where the Navy was examining potential candidates below! The net result was a chair that bounced, but did not bend or break and so the 1006 won the day and the Navel contract!

Following the war the 1006 chairs found their way into prisons, hospitals, government offices and then were sold to restaurants in the 1980s and 1990s. In 2006, Coca Cola started a collaboration with Emeco. The brief was to create a 1006 based chair made from recycled Coca Cola bottles. That was a success and the chair was released during 2010. Metropolis Magazine reported that it was a good public relations effort by Coca Cola to make a durable product out of their bottles; they also hoped it would encourage other manufacturers to do the same.

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Navy Chair 2

So what does it look like and what is it made from? The original 1006 chair had a curved back with three vertical struts. and a slight curve on the back legs. It weighed approx. 3.17kg and was guaranteed to last, a staggering, 150 years. It’s not surprising that most of the original chairs dating back to the 1940s are still in use today. The traditional aluminum chairs are made mostly out of recycled aluminum, also, iron, copper, magnesium, titanium, chromium and zinc. The Emeco 111 chair was aptly named because it’s made from at least 111 recycled Coca-Cola bottles. The Emeco 111 chairs are made out of 60 percent recycled plastic and 40 percent glass fiber.

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And finally…since it’s conception the Emeco 1006 chair has regularly featured in design magazines. It’s also put in an appearance in films such as The Matrix and productions including Law & Order and CSI.

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