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Leg Splint

Decorative Arts

On View: Decorative Art, 20th-Century Decorative Arts, 4th Floor
Charles Eames experimented with molded shell forms for chairs before the war, collaborating with Eero Saarinen on an award-winning chair design in 1940. These experiments were put to good use during the war when Eames and his colleagues used molded plywood technology to develop a lightweight leg splint and a litter for soldiers injured in the field. Just as a chair seat needed to conform to the human body, so did a splint. The ability to mold plywood efficiently into curving shapes had important implications for postwar design.
MEDIUM Plywood
  • Place Manufactured: Venice, California, United States
  • DATES designed 1941-1942; manufactured 1943-1945
    DIMENSIONS 42 x 4 1/4 x 8 in. (106.7 x 10.8 x 20.3 cm)  (show scale)
    MARKINGS Branded on inside section behind ankle: "S2-1790"; stamped in green on outside near top: "MOLDED PLYWOOD DIVISION / LOS ANGELES CALIFORNIA / patent pending [...] EAMES [...]"; circular logo containing "EVANS PRODUCTS COMPANY" around circle, and crisscrossing in center: "EVANS / EVANS"
    SIGNATURE no signature
    INSCRIPTIONS no inscriptions
    COLLECTIONS Decorative Arts
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Decorative Art, 20th-Century Decorative Arts, 4th Floor
    CREDIT LINE Anonymous gift
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION Charles Eames (American, 1907-1978). Leg Splint, designed 1941-1942; manufactured 1943-1945. Plywood, 42 x 4 1/4 x 8 in. (106.7 x 10.8 x 20.3 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Anonymous gift, 83.156. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 83.156_transp2760.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 83.156_transp2760.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Long piece of plywood molded to the human leg, flaring out at the top to fit against the buttocks and tapering in at the bottom to support the lower leg and foot. Numerous rectangular cut-out sections to allow for ties to secure leg to splint. CONDITION: Good. No finishing solution was applied to surface. Some splits in surface due to normal production.
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