The unique success story of Thonet began with the work of master carpenter Michael Thonet (1796-1871), which established the transition from manual furniture production to industrial production. Michael Thonet succeeded in making the breakthrough to industrial production in 1859 in Vienna with chair No.14, later called the "Vienna coffee house chair", for which the innovative technique of bending solid beech wood was used.
The individual production steps were standardized and the division of labour concept was implemented for the ﬁrst time in furniture production. In addition, the chair was easy to disassemble and could be shipped in a space-saving way. Chair No.14 cleared the way for Thonet to become a global enterprise, and numerous successful bentwood designs followed. Thonet’s production peaked in 1912: that year, two million units were produced and sold worldwide.