Happy Birthday Michael Thonet!! Austrian furniture designer, born in 1796, Thonet was the son of a tanner. He apprenticed with a cabinetmaker and set up a workshop in Boppard shortly after. He experimented with bending laminated wood and eventually invented the Boppard Chair. Not only was he important for the initial introduction of bent wood furniture, but he made the furniture in modules that were prefab, thus setting the stage for furniture mass production. The Boppard Chair pictured is a well-known favorite even today!