After several years of selling vintage Emeco/GoodForm chairs, Iíve learned a few things along the way. Here are some tips and tricks to help you.

INDICATORS OF A VINTAGE CHAIR

Chairs that are 40-60 years old should have some signs of wear.

P9020027 Most chairs Iíve seen have marks along the legs, usually close to the bottom.

P9020024 On armchairs, you will usually see brown staining along the undersides of the armrests.

P9020031 ...and on the underside of the top back frame where the back pad is. This staining is due to the accumulation of 50+ years of the grease on peopleís hands (ick!).

ComparePre-1970s chairs (top) have perforated leather upholstery, while later chairs (bottom) have solid vinyl upholstery.

IDENTIFYING THE COMPANY THAT MADE YOUR CHAIR / DATING YOUR CHAIR

Most chairs look pretty much the same from the front, but there are a few differences when you start looking closer. Here are chairs from four different makers.

Probably the most obvious difference is that GoodForm chairs (far right) have solid back pads, while Emeco chairs (second from left) have open back pads.

Ohio Chair (far left) has a wider open back space than Emeco, and the Art Metal (second from right) back is open and curved.

Chairs 03803

Left to right: Ohio Chair, Emeco, Art Metal, GoodForm

GOODFORM (GENERAL FIREPROOFING) - Youngstown, OH (1902 - 89)

P9020017 Older GoodForm chairs have the GoodForm logo on the back.

 P9080033GoodForm chairs sometimes still have their original paper tags on the underside of the seat. The manufacturing date is usually printed on the tag. This one has a date of Sept. 1977.

 P9080044If thereís no paper tag, then check the bar on the front underside of the seat. The date is usually stamped into the metal. This one says F-9-77 (Sept. 1977).

P9020023 On GoodForm task/secretary chairs, look for the date stamped in the middle of the underside of the base. This one says F-10-76 (Oct. 1976).

EMECO - Hanover, PA (1944 - present)

 P9080026Emeco chairs have ďEmecoĒ printed on the underside of the seat. This is also where youíll find the date that the chair was manufactured.

 P9080043Emeco metal tag from a 1970 swivel chair.

ART METAL - Jamestown, NY (1888 - 1971)

 P9080027Art Metal paper tag on the underside of the seat.

P9020016Art Metal chairs have the Art Metal logo on the back.

P9020011Like GoodForm, Art Metal stamps the date into the bar on the front underside of the seat. This one is 6-50 (June 1950).

Chairs 071The few Art Metal chairs Iíve seen have dark green upholstery. (Itís hard to tell from this picture, but the upholstery is green.)

OHIO CHAIR - Youngstown, OH (? - ?) - If anyone has any information on this company, I would love to hear from you!

 P9080037An example (admittedly, not a great one) of an Ohio Chair paper label on the underside of a chair.

SHELBY WILLIAMS - Morristown, TN (1953 - present)

 P9080034A folded paper tag on the underside of a Shelby Williams chair. The Morristown address means that this dates from 1963 or later.

LOUIS RASTETTER & SONS -- Fort Wayne, IN (1881? - 1960?)

 P9080036Solid Kumfort logo stamped into the front bar on the underside of the seat.

 P9080035Partial paper tag from the underside of the seat.