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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.
designed 1941-1942; manufactured 1943-1945
42 x 4 1/4 x 8 in. (106.7 x 10.8 x 20.3 cm) (show scale)
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"
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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)
overall, 83.156_transp2760.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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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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