Emeco is a privately held company based in Hanover, Pennsylvania. The Emeco 1006, known as the Navy Chair, has been in continuous production since the 1940s. Emeco manufactures furniture designed by designers and architects such as Philippe Starck and Norman Foster.
Wilton C. Dinges founded the Electric Machine and Equipment Company (Emeco) in 1944 with $300 in savings and a used lathe for machine work. He started bidding on government manufacturing contracts out of a loft in Baltimore, Maryland, beginning with experimental antennas and jet engine parts. Dinges moved to Hanover, Pennsylvania, in 1946 to take advantage of the local labour market. He obtained 10,000 pounds of aluminium scrap metal at an attractive price and started building dining table legs. Later he manufactured chair frames and eventually focused entirely on aluminium chairs in 1948. The Emeco 1006 chair the company would become known for was one of several furniture products, such as bunks and lockers, Emeco made for the US Navy’s fleet during World War II, out of anodized aluminium material. The business grew by under-bidding other manufacturers of government contracts for office building furniture. By 1953, there were four Emeco factories in Hanover.
Dinges developed the chairs and Emeco’s manufacturing process. Still, he was not a good businessman. He found it hard to profit due to the elaborate manufacturing process. By 1955, Emeco was producing 200,000 chairs per year. By 1979 the company was not receiving enough new government contracts to stay in business and was nearing bankruptcy.
Use of Recycled Materials
Emeco is noted for its use of recycled and reclaimed materials.
The Coca-Cola Company and Emeco partnered to re-create the Navy Chair using rPET plastic bottles; the 111 Navy Chair became available in 2010.
Philippe Starck and Emeco revived a 2001 design, the Broom Chair, making it with a formula combining waste polypropylene and reclaimed wood fibre. Broom was launched in 2012.
In 2015, the Emeco Alfi Chair was introduced. The Alfi seat is 100% discarded industrial waste – 92.5% polypropylene and 7.5% wood fibre.
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Wikipedia contributors. (2021, January 2). Emeco. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 21:26, January 2, 2022, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Emeco&oldid=997759687
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