Pam had a longtime career in public relations, so she loves it when she gets a great PR pitch — and this is the best we’ve received in a long time. Furniture maker Gus* Modern has just introduced faithful reproductions of vintage Russell Spanner chairs, made in Toronto like the originals. What set this pitch apart: Not only did Gus* send us great product photos and details, but they also provided a boatload of yummy historical photos and info. Nicely done pitch, Gus*, we’re swinging at this one for sure!
Gus Modern’s new release:
Gus* Design Group Inc., the Toronto-based modern home furnishings manufacturer, announced that it has resumed production of a classic mid-century modern chair design that hasn’t been available for more than half a century.
Known to collectors of rare mid-century furniture, the Lounge Chair with Arms, originally designed in 1950 by Russell Spanner (1916-1974), is a unique chair that features a woven-web seat, formed plywood backrest, and angular shape which epitomizes the energetic spirit of post-war North American industrial design. Gus* worked in conjunction with the Spanner family to bring the design back to life and to ensure it would meet the designer’s original specifications.
“Russell Spanner has never received the widespread recognition that he deserves for his work, primarily because his designs were only available for a brief period of time in the 1950s,” said Matt Parass, president of Gus* Design Group. “He was ahead of his time — experimenting with innovative materials and designing furniture for smaller, open-plan homes which were being built in postwar cities. We’re extremely proud to be working with his family to shed light on his legacy and offer his designs to a new generation.”
The Lounge Chair With Arms is built in Toronto and will be available in six different finish options. The first one hundred chairs produced will be part of a numbered series which will also include a certificate of authenticity. The chairs will be available exclusively through Gus* retailers starting in May 2014.
For a full list of Gus* authorized retailers, please visit www.gusmodern.com.
- Designed in 1950
- Originally manufactured in the 1950s by Spanner Products Limited, Toronto, Canada
- Design is based in part on the industrial battery boxes which the company originally produced. The boxes match the proportions and joinery of the chair seat.
- Available in six finish options: Light Birch/Red Webbing, Light Birch/Black Webbing, Light Birch/Green Webbing, Dark Birch/Red Webbing, Dark Birch/Black Webbing, Dark Birch/Green Webbing
- Frame is constructed with solid birch and curved birch plywood components
- Tapered legs are attached to seat with exposed carriage bolts
- Finger-joint and dowel-joint construction
- Woven-web seat material is 100% cotton strapping
- Bench-made in Toronto, Canada
- Born 1916 in Toronto, Canada.
- His grandfather, father, and uncle opened a woodworking factory in the 1920s which would later become Spanner Products Limited. The factory produced a diverse range of products which included battery boxes, table tennis tables, and some generic furniture designs.
- He worked as plant foreman at Spanner Products Ltd. in the 1940s, and began experimenting with his own designs.
- Spanner Products Limited began manufacturing Russell’s designs in 1950.
- He was a self-taught designer.
- He received a National Design Council of Canada award in 1954.
- He was an amateur wrestling champion, and was said to have tested the strength of his designs by jumping on them and throwing them across the factory floor.