Emeco + Alcoa and US Navy

Wilton C. Dinges founded Emeco (Electric Machine and Equipment Company) in 1940 in Hanover, Pennsylvania. During WWII the U.S government gave him a big assignment - make chairs that could withstand water, salt air and sailors. Make chairs lightweight and make them strong, build them for a lifetime. Aluminum was the obvious choice, engineered for practical purposes, designed by real people.

Together with Alcoa experts, Wilton C. Dinges created the 1006 Navy Chair made of recycled aluminum, using 77 steps to create a seamless one-piece look. Forming, welding, grinding, heat-treating, finishing, anodizing - just a few of the steps it takes to build an Emeco chair. No one else makes chairs this way. No one can. It takes a human eye to know when the process is done right, and it takes human hands to get it that way.

The Navy Chair was a chair so durable, it had an estimated life cycle of 150 years and far exceeded the Navy’s specifications. A humble but proud four-legged chair, weighing only seven pounds but ranked right up there alongside such unimpeachable symbols of no-nonsense American ingenuity as rag-top Jeeps, Converse high-tops, Zippo lighters and button fly Levi’s.

The Emeco story is characterized by a special mix of design and engineering, material knowhow and handcraft – with the mission to make things that last.

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