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German History in Documents and Images
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Furniture Design of the 1950s: Kidney-Shaped Table (1954)
In the 1950s, West Germany experienced an impressive economic upswing. The “economic miracle” was characterized by income growth across class lines and a plentiful supply of consumer goods. As a result, changes emerged in the domestic sphere. Modern gas heating replaced labor intensive coal- and wood-burning stoves. Furniture was spare and functional – the so-called kidney table became a symbol of home décor in the 1950s. (Its name derived from its asymmetrical organic form.) Likewise, the simple armchair, the un-embellished flower vase, and the small table lamp represented a departure from the style of the pre-war years. Photo by Willi Moegle.