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History, craftsmanship, and utilitarian design are at the very core and foundation of Emeco. Founded in 1944 by Wilton C. Dinges, the Electrical Machine and Equipment Company—a quintessentially American shop—is based in Hanover, PA. Emeco has been the leading manufacturer of handcrafted aluminum chairs for 65 years.
Referred to by Dinges as “sculptured masterworks”, Emeco chairs have become universal icons in the design community. Emeco’s skilled craftsmen are the guardians of what is considered a lost art, dedicating both their time and talent to the manufacture of an enduring product that is guaranteed to last a lifetime. The creative process behind the development of new Emeco products is one that is loose and unfettered, organic, intuitive, and explorative.
Emeco chairs are based on the marriage of style and an exclusive 77-step manufacturing process. Emeco’s philosophy is rooted in the fact that the search for good design is as much part of the development process as is the forming, welding, and hand finishing of its products. Emeco’s designers and manufacturers are equally valued and respected, and their combined dedication, intuition, and skill have uniformly contributed to the company’s continuing growth.
Emeco was founded following a collaborative project with Alcoa (the world’s largest aluminum manufacturer), to develop a seaworthy chair for military use in Navy submarines and warships. The resulting product was the 1006, an Emeco classic that sold a million pieces since its manufacture. Subsequently, the U.S. government became the largest purchaser of the 1006 chairs following World War II through the 1970s.
Eventually, the end of the cold war marked a significant decrease in the size of the U.S. military, and as a result, sales of the 1006 chair plummeted. From this point on, the aluminum chair company would become associated with such world-renowned designers as Frank Gehry, Philippe Starck, Sir Norman Foster, and Andrée Putman.
All Emeco chairs are LEED™ compliant, made of 80% recycled material, or 100% post consumer rPET, and in addition, the aluminum chairs have an estimated lifespan of 150 years and a lifetime guarantee. This, combined with the chairs’ classic styling, eliminates the need for recycling. Emeco’s 1006 Navy Chair was awarded Uncontestable Trade Dress Status in 2007, which provides a powerful weapon against the unauthorized manufacture, distribution, or use of the design\'s likeness.