When you hear this term ‘hairpin legs’ what comes to mind? And no …not my legs! he he he Most think of mid-century furniture. I think of my aunt and uncles home — where hairpin legs ruled. Interestingly enough I didn’t care for the style much — and even now I only like it on certain pieces; like the one above for example.
Hairpin legs were actually created by Henry P. Glass in 1941. Taken from the website Mad for Mid-Century (great resource by the way).
The history of hairpin legs starts with them being invented by Henry P. Glass in 1941. Hairpin legs were a true war-time invention; their design limited the amount of material needed while keeping the strength of traditional legs. A true form meets function story.
Glass talked about the history of his hairpin legs in an interview:
[Russel Wright] liked my work and when, in 1941, he launched his campaign “American-Way,” he honored me with an important assignment, to design a complete line of wrought iron furniture. I created a rather startling group of tables, chairs, sofas, etc., which commanded immediate and favorable attention in the trade press, particularly Home Furnishings Daily. Its editor-in-chief, Alfred Auerbach, coined the name “Hairpin Group” because of the shape of the steel wire legs. It was a great success, mainly in the media. I don’t know how much of this furniture was actually sold in stores. It certainly created a trend. Countless furniture pieces of all kinds were put on hairpin legs for several years. Samples of this group are in the collection of several museums, such as the College for Applied Arts in Vienna and the Art Institute of Chicago.
Here are some more examples of hairpin leg furniture pieces. You can buy hairpin legs and add to new pieces as well. Enjoy your finds at estate sales! #EstateSalesRock