When was my vintage Knoll chair made?
October 16, 2007 9:21 AM   Subscribe

When did Knoll switch from manufacturing the Pollock executive chair with five legs instead of four?

I picked up a vintage Knoll Pollock executive chair at a thrift store last weekend. It does have a pretty old-looking label on the bottom, but no date that I can find. I want to find out when (approximately) it was manufactured. My chair has four legs, the currently manufactured chairs have five legs. If I could find out when Knoll switched from manufacturing chairs with four legs to making chairs with five legs, it would help me date my chair! Thanks in advance for any clues.
posted by bonheur to Home & Garden (5 answers total)
I'm pretty sure the switch to 5 legs was an industry-wide switch, due to some OSHA regulation or something. It's damn near impossible to tip-over in a 5-leg chair.

As for timing...sometime in the 90's, maybe?
posted by Thorzdad at 9:43 AM on October 16, 2007

I couldn't find a specific regulation, but I found claims that European countries were requiring five legs by the 1970s, and the US military has such a requirement now, and there is an ANSI standard that may apply (but you have to pay big money to get those). And it's in a lot of "office safety" advice lists nowadays that you should only use chairs that have five legs, such as this missive from the American Society of Safety Engineers.

So I'm not sure it's mandated that they make legs with five legs, but it may simply be required so many places now that not doing it becomes a liability issue.
posted by dhartung at 11:28 AM on October 16, 2007

Best answer: While not your Knoll Pollock chair, the Eames Executive Chair/Time-Life Chair was converted from the four-star base to five-star base in 1990. From this NY Times article:

Vintage Time-Life chairs are also getting scarce on eBay, where they used to be a staple. Regeneration Furniture in Manhattan has them (with the more coveted, pre-1990 four-wheel base) for $2,100.

Perhaps Knoll made their conversion around the same time?
posted by junesix at 2:55 PM on October 16, 2007

Response by poster: I got a response from the customer question form on the Knoll Web site. They said the chair has been manufactured with five legs for "at least 15 years". So around 1990 is probably a good guess. It still doesn't really help me date my chair, but it already sold on craigslist so I'm less concerned. Thanks for all the answers!
posted by bonheur at 4:42 PM on October 21, 2007

Response by poster: Upon much closer inspection, one of the labels on the bottom of the chair says "1987," so it's twenty years old.
posted by bonheur at 8:34 PM on February 4, 2008

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