Carl Hansen & Søn

timeline

Carl Hansen & Søn is a third generation company with a history that dates back to 1908 when the company was first founded by Carl Hansen in the city of Odense in Denmark.

 

We invite you to browse through more than 100 years of working with classic Danish design and traditional craftsmanship.

1908

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Carl Hansen, a trained cabinetmaker, founds his company in Odense, Denmark. 

 

He produces bespoke furniture in a small workshop, the size of a small two room flat. 

 

1915

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Carl Hansen took the major step from owning af workshop to opening a factory in a new location with room for machinery and journeymen, making it possible to produce small series of the most popular pieces.


This combination of hand craftsmanship and rational series production soon became the hallmark of the company

 

1927

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The Danish Cabinetmakers Guild launches the Annual Furniture Guild Exhibition which comes to play a major role in the fruitful cooperation between Danish designers and craftsmen all the way through the mid-1960s.

Carl Hansen´s ambition is different; to access the industrialized world of factories with modern machines and skilled workers who could make good furniture for the general public

1933

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Carl Hansen builds a new modern factory outside the city of Odense, at Kochsgade.

 

Carl Hansen & Søn manufactures furniture here until 2003

 

1940

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Due to shortage of materials during the war, it becomes increasingly difficult for manufacturers of upholstered furniture to obtain the materials needed for upholstery and suspensions.

 

Carl Hansen spots the market opportunity of making a modern version of the Windsor chair, which would require only pillows and cushions.

 

He ventures into cooperation with the respected Danish architect Frits Henningsen who designs a series of Windsor chairs for Carl Hansen - one of which is in production until 2003    

1949

Cooperation starts with the then relatively unknown Danish architect, Hans J. Wegner. 

 

Wegner designs four chairs especially for Carl Hansen & Søn, the CH22, CH23, CH24 and CH25. 

 

All models are put in production the following year. Holger Hansen, himself a master cabinetmaker, works closely with Wegner to adapt the company´s series production to the radically different designs from Wegner.

1949

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 Hans J. Wegner designs the CH24 dining chair - also known as The Wishbone Chair

 

 

 

1949

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Hans J. Wegner designs the CH25 easy chair

 

 

1950

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The American design publication Interiors Magazine features an article on Danish furniture design, highlighting a Wegner chair as an example of excellent workmanship and simple construction. 

 

The article gives rise to considerable attention among American architects, and creates a demand

 

 

1951

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The Wishbone Chair (CH24) wins a design award at the Milan Triennale

1952

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Hans J. Wegner designs the CH28 easy chair

 

1952

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Hans J. Wegner designs the CH29 dining chair 

1957

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Hans J. Wegner designs the CH33 dining chair

 

1958

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The company´s 50th jubilee is celebrated.

 

Carl Hansen & Søn has indeed become a specialized chair manufacturing company as Holger Hansen envisioned when he came onboard in the early 1940s.

 

Sales are high and over half of the production is exported

1959

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The founder of Carl Hansen & Søn, Carl Hansen passes

 

1962

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After a truly golden decade, the company starts experiencing difficulties when Holger Hansen dies suddenly in 1962. 

 

Ella, Holger´s widow, manages to keep the company in the family

 

1963

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Hans J. Wegner designs the Shell Chair for the annual Furniture Guild Exhibition in Copenhagen.

 

While some critics loved the avant-garde design, the general public was reluctant to accept the chair's bold and different design.

 

Initial sales were poor and it was only produced in limited quantities during the 1960s

 

1988

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Ella and Holger Hansen´s oldest son, Jørgen Gerner Hansen takes over the running of the company

 

2002

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Holger and Ella Hansen´s youngest son, Knud Erik Hansen, assumes leadership of the company

 

2003

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Knud Erik Hansen has a new modern factory built outside of Odense which improves the quality of the manufacturing process.

 

The factory is a combination between rational serial production and traditional hand-craftsmanship

 

2011

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Carl Hansen & Søn buys the renowned Danish cabinetmaker Rud. Rasmussen´s Snedkerier in Copenhagen, thereby enabling an even more specialized manufacturing of classic Danish design furniture. Among others, the classic bookcase system designed by Danish architect Mogens Koch in 1928

 

2011

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To increase presence in the US market, Carl Hansen & Søn opens a showroom in New York


2012

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Carl Hansen & Søn buys the Danish furniture manufacturer PJ furniture in Store Heddinge, thereby gaining the rights to Danish Architect Ole Wanscher´s classic pieces such as The Colonial Chair from 1949

 

2013

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Carl Hansen & Søn opens their first flagship store at Bredgade 21, in Copenhagen