There are eighteen published biographies of Michael Thonet. What intrigued eighteen scholars to explore his life? What were his contributions to mankind? Thonet served as an icon of the Industrial Revolution. He completely transformed the furniture-crafting industry with his invention of bentwood furniture. By inventing and fine-tuning the art of bending wood into chairs, he successfully put an end to the era of heavy, clumsy and easily broken chairs.
His legacy of craftsmanship, beauty, and durability continues today in the bentwood market. The teamwork and precision he promoted still stands at the forefront of Manhattan Chairs.
European forests are home to the finest grade of beechwood. Teams of trained professionals assess the trees for quality. Once quality has been assured, the trees are chopped and the barks peeled.
Acres of land are filled with the heady smell of fresh wood as the logs are laid out to dry under the sun. The drying can take from three to five months, depending on the desired level of moisture and the season.
The dried logs are then chiseled into cylinders for easy curving. The sizes of the cylinders determine which part of the chair they will be used for.
High-temperature steam chambers are used to steam the cylinders. The steaming process temporarily softens the wood, long enough to curve it. Skilled artisans then form intricate designs by deftly bending the wood and then immediately placing the cylinders into ready metal molds with clamps to keep them in place.
Once they have hardened in the molds, the pieces of wood are individually sanded and smoothed to prepare them for assembly.
The teamwork continues across the ocean as the bentwood is shipped to our New Jersey facility for assemblage and finishings. The individual pieces are then painstakingly assembled, individually varnished, and leveled with our state-of-the-art machinery.
The world has changed in fundamental ways over thepast thirty-two years. Technology has altered a great
many things and quality hand-crafted products havealmost vanished from the market in favor of quicker,
The world has changed. But our promise hasn’t. Established in 1982 by Leo Strulovitch, Manhattan
Chairs maintains that original commitment to quality and loyalty that has enabled us to grow and earn
the trust and admiration of clients worldwide. No shortcuts, no leeway. We know that each chair we sell
has the potential to upgrade your establishment from mediocre to upscale, and therefore we treat each
chair with respect. In our view, when we build chairs, we build your success!
As a leading wholesaler of commercial seating, we are the economical and dependable choice to
a diverse and constantly growing customer base. From hotels to restaurants, from assisted living
facilities to health care facilities, from public parks to recreational villas, we have what it takes to provide
your establishment with long-term seating solutions.
Each hotelier and establishment owner knows its patrons—their needs and their tastes. Your interior
design surely reflects that. We want the seating in your establishment to reflect your individualistic
dreams, as well. Our team will be delighted to work with your design committee to reach the perfect
With our unmatched upholstery choices and chair finishes, your chair will become a centerpiece of
beauty and durability.
The Crypton and lacquer finishes are durable and aesthetically pleasing. This stain-resistant choice
ensures that you can have the chair of your dreams without compromising on practicality.
Enjoy the virtual tour of our 55,000-square-foot facility. You’re guaranteed to find the chair you need
in bentwood, beechwood, metal or aluminum.