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Plycraft Lounge (AKA Mr. Chair) by George Mulhauser

Stephen Coles

Above: Plycraft Lounge by Mulhauser — went for $373.88 on eBay (Jan 22, 2006) Besides producing a heckuva lotta Eames Lounge knockoffs, Plycraft also made a very special lounge of their own, designed by George Mulhauser in the mid-’50s.

These are a couple that were on the Bay Area craigslist a couple of years ago. The green one with ottoman and cute little pillow was only $225. It can also be seen in orange vinyl at the Jackson’s Auction site.

Plycraft Lounge with ottoman in beautiful shape. $1495 at MetroRetro.

Plycraft Lounge with ottoman in yellow leather. Estimate €500 – €800 at Live Auctioneers.

Lounge Chair by George Mulhauser by Plycraft

Another fabric lounge at Eccola.

Gob in ChairAs far as I know, this chair swivels, but does not tilt. I think the bent ply on this design is wonderful, and apparently so does GOB (right) from Arrested Development, RIP.

This posting on the DC craigslist refers to it as “Mr. Chair” but I don’t find any other references of this. Update: Ok, I have since been duly corrected. The product was indeed officially known as “Mr.Chair®”. Below is a confirming label from an auction on eBay.

Mr. Chair label

» Search eBay for “Plycraft Lounge”
» Search eBay for “Mulhauser”

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54 Comments

  1. 03.19.07 — Jason D

    I always knew Plycraft for it slight off-looking eames ottomans. I hadn’t realized that Plycraft made such beautiful designs of its own.

  2. 07.08.07 Gabe Scelta

    I found one of the black Mulhauser’s in my housemates abandoned storage, without the base, and it sat there forever. I finally got a base for it. I was thinking about selling it, but not after sitting in it. It is the most comfortable thing ever.

  3. 07.09.07 — lovelyjmb

    I have a black Plycraft lounge with ottoman that was given to me by my grandmother. It was in great shape a few years ago and now with continued use over the years the chair has lost it’s spring and will not stay completely upright. I love the chair but I have to lean it against a wall and tell people not to move in it too much or it will ruin my wall. Anyone know if the chair is still worth anything in this condition? It has original labels on the bottom of both the chair and ottoman that say Plycraft on them.

  4. 07.16.07 — adam

    Plycraft was a viable company in its own right, but they did rip off a lot of the Eames styling. The wide variety of lounge chairs produced by Plycraft are still fetching between 5-1000$.
    To answer some other questions: Mr. Chair was indeed the name of your chair – I’ve seen it on some of the plycraft labels.
    To fix your loose spring go to http://www.swivel-chair-parts.com

  5. 08.23.07 Jelmar Geertsma

    That is one beautiful chair! I would like one.

  6. 01.04.08 Abbey H

    This chair does indeed tilt. I love it and could stare at it all day!

  7. 01.31.08 — Warren Moore

    Some 44 years ago I worked for a modern design studio in Nashville, TN. Among other brands, we sold some Plycraft…and yes, the name of the Mulhauser-designed chair was indeed the “Mr.” Chair. Interestingly enough, as you point out, you won’t find it via Google using that name.

  8. 02.06.08 Loopy

    Oh wow!!! I just bought this at an auction house nearby my house for cheap!
    I knew it was a Eames Chair knockoff, but after much research, I could never find any other info on it.
    Thank you for posting this!!!!
    I will enjoy it that much more!

  9. 02.06.08 Stephen Coles

    Loopy – congrats on your find. Plycraft made a lounge similar to the Eames’ famous design, but If your chair is the one pictured in this entry it’s not an Eames knockoff at all. It’s an original design by Mulhauser for Plycraft.

  10. 02.18.08 — castine

    I just purchased the Ply Craft knockoff Lounge and Ottoman. I paid $800. Did I overpay?

  11. 02.29.08 — anne Story

    I have a 1965 chair, just like the black one above, with ottoman. How much is it worth?

  12. 03.04.08 — Kathryn Nowosielski

    We bought a Mulhauser Plycraft chair last year at the Mid-Century Modern Show in Cincinnati. Ours is white leather but it has small metal braces between the legs of the chair and the ottoman. It has the original paper tag that identifies it. After much research, yours is the only information that we have found. There is nothing at the Plycraft site. Thank you for posting the info and the pictures. By the way, we paid $375.00 for the chair and ottoman at the show which, is (in my opinion) mostly over priced on most items.

  13. 03.29.08 — J King

    These chairs routinely sell on e-bay for around $1000 if they are in good condition.

  14. 04.19.08 Carl Celle

    I just picked a chair and ottoman this morning for $200. Came across it by chance as I was going to a yard sale looking for a mcm sleeper sofa. There is just something really cool about this chair. It’s fresh to see something that is not in every issue of every design magazine.
    It is in good shape except it’s missing the spring in the tilt base. Can anyone send me a picture of what the base should look like with a spring? carlcelle@gmail.com
    …..Note…. This site rocks!
    Thanks

  15. 04.24.08 — G.Gonzalez

    I really like this chair. I bought the chair and ottoman this week and apparently it came in two sizes. My purchase came with the original receipt from 1962 and was originally purchased for $94- which I’m sure was a hefty sum for those days. The receipt said, “Jr. Mr Chair”. And looking at some of the pictures above, my chair’s back and arm rests are a little smaller. The chair fits great in my space. It came with a light blue cloth and still has the Plycraft label on the bottom. Oh, and it does recline just a bit.

  16. 04.27.08 — Doug R

    Anybody know if the Eames knock-offs came before the Mullhauser chair? Any help would be appreciated, as like others have said, the info for this stuff is hard to find and I want to know! Thanks, and I love everyone’s enthusiasm.

  17. 05.02.08 — larry galluzzo

    I have two of the above chairs (mulhouser mr. chairs, black. i need the tilt and swivel mechanism,where can i get them?

  18. 08.20.08 — steve breman

    Is it possible to fix a tilt/swivel mechanism without replacing it? Like so many others, mine has no spring left. Do I need a whole modern-looking blocked mechanism or can I fix mine? Thank you -Steve

  19. 08.29.08 — scott

    can anyone tell me about my eames-esque lounge chair RECLINER???
    it has no ottoman..the foot rest folds out from underneath the chair..
    i’m assuming it’s a PLYCRAFT design, but i can’t find any info online for this design at all..it has a silver chrome 4 leg base that sits flat on the floor..the base seems oversized actually..and the chair seems to sit really low to the ground..i’d like to change the base, but i wanted to find out if this base is original first..
    thanks for ur help!
    -s.

  20. 09.05.08 — fred

    my aunt bought a golden-yellow plycraft chair and ottoman I think at a garage sale 20+ years ago.. Me, and her daughter, have taken turns having possession of it the last couple of years. There was the snap pillow years ago, but it was lost along the way (I remember it being more rectangle than oval shaped). As someone else posted, mine too now rests up against the wall because of the worn spring/catch/rocker/thingy :-)
    Two questions:
    1- has anyone actually ordered and replaced the rocking mechanism ?? Or been able to fix it in some way?? I would love to bring it back to it’s original glory, but I’m afraid to mess it up without hearing of someone else’s success.
    2- has anyone had success/share their story of removing the cushions to clean or refinish their chairs?
    I don’t know about anyone else, but when I walk in my apartment from being away for a while, and see my Mulhauser in the living room (even up against the wall) I still think “geez, I really like that chair!”

  21. 09.11.08 — lw

    we just bought a few cherner plycraft chairs, but allegedly they’re of second generation design, the pinch point at the bottom of the back rest isn’t as skinny as the cherner chair you see nowadays… i’ve been able to locate a few of the same ones online just to see if there are any more out there..
    i’ve gotten feedback from another antique dealer who validated their authenticity..
    just wondering if anyone knows of any other sources, literature, or website that we can check out to compare?? we want to know that they are in deed made by plycraft to say the least..
    any info/feedback will be appreciated..
    thanks!

  22. 10.03.08 — Gia Nelson

    How can i carefully restore a mulhauser plycraft chair and ottoman? The cusions are my main concern. Thanks so much for your help.
    Gia

  23. 10.05.08 SuburbanPioneer

    Fred on 9/5/2008,
    Paul Goldman at Plycraft in Lawrence, MA made what is now called “The Cherner Chair” for almost 50 years. Norman Cherner designed the chair, Paul made it, some say illegally for many years. He made several other styles over the long course of his career, many were his “re-engineered” interpretations of existing designs, some were his own crazy ideas. The crazy ones are my personal favorites. If you go to my blog and search on Plycraft you’ll see all my postings, somewhere in there is a Bethlehem Furniture catalog, they purchased all the molds and equipment when the factory burned down in the mid 1990s.
    You’ll see in the catalog that Paul offered the classic and a modern version of the Cherner chair, what he called the Rockwell Chair after the famous Norman Rockwell picture which featured the chair. He expanded the width of the waist of the chair in order to provide more durability. I have 6 of those chairs purchased in the late 1980s and they’ve held up rather well.
    By the way, there was no Mulhauser, Paul liked to play around with names…it was purely Paul. In fact, I’ll bet there’s a story to how he came up with the name Mulhauser.

  24. 10.06.08 Stephen Coles

    Fascinating stuff, SP! I’ll definitely update the article if I can find out more. How did you learn so much about Plycraft?

  25. 11.11.08 Suburban Pioneer

    Stephen Coles,
    I haven’t been back here in ages, sorry. I live over the border from where these chairs were made and used to hang out at the factory showroom in the late 1980s/early 1990s, basking in the reflected glory that was Paul Goldman. He was quite a character and at that time midcentury furniture wasn’t easy to come by. He custom designed a table for me to go with my chairs…it took a about a year to actually get it, but it was well worth the wait.
    If you visit my website, Suburbanpioneers.blogspot.com, I have some Plycraft stories, although not as much as I’d like. One of his early saucer chairs was featured in the opening credits of Green Acres, in the penthouse. I don’t pretend to be an expert on the furniture, there are vintage dealers out there who know a lot more than I do about his pieces, but I enjoyed my interaction with Paul and wish I had more money at the time.

  26. 12.13.08 — richard

    In the late fifties my family was good friends with the Goldman family, and my parents worked with Paul on the design of many of his chairs. My dad also worked at the factory from 1960-63. My dad also solely designed the ottoman for the “Mr. Chair”. There was also a Mrs. chair, I have one. Paul used other “names” for his designs. He also made boats in his factory.

  27. 01.08.09 — Reuster

    Is there anyone who has one of these Plycraft chairs who might be willing to send/post a photo of the underside/tilt mechanism from a chair that properly swivels and tilts?
    I, too, inherited one of these chairs, and of course I love it. My parents and grandparents each had one, in fact, but one of my brothers destroyed one of the chairs by leaving it out in the backyard in the rain. (The idiot!)
    The chair I have (from the grandparents) has the original Flo-Tilt mechanism that would enable it to swivel and tilt, but while it was getting repaired at some point the spring was taken out. I still have the spring and all, but we can’t seem to figure out how to put it back together properly.
    Anyone have any ideas and/or a photo that could be used as a guide?
    Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

  28. 01.08.09 — Elle

    I found a site that sells replacement parts. I hope this is helpful. We just bought a Mr. Chair, and love it! I plan on buying more Plycraft pieces – what a cool aesthetic!

  29. 01.10.09 — John C. Knox

    I have a plycraft lounge and ottoman designed by George Mulhauser. The cushion on both pieces is beige, its a great chair. Some idiot that my roommate had over was sitting in it and bent one of the legs in the lounge. Nothing is cracked including the wood but the chair is really off balance now. Does anyone know where and how much it might be to repair it? or maybe how much its worth? I think its about 1500 but am not sure… Thanks!

  30. 01.26.09 — Keiland Holleman

    Does anyone have or know about a timeline / dates relating to plycraft chair bases?
    I’ve seen 3 various types or styles. There is the so-called “proto-type” base, the “standard” plycraft base, and then there is the base pictured at the very top of this page, it has 4 chrome feet. Any others?

  31. 03.02.09 — Rich

    I just bought a Mulhauser chair and ottoman. The exterior (back) and arms are fully upholstered with no wood showing. The arms have thin padding underneath the upholstery as well. I made a small cut in the bottom of the chair and found nice plywood underneath. I have never seen a Mulhauser style chair like this before. I like the wood look, but I’m not sure if I should leave the chair in its original condition. If anyone has info let me know.

  32. 03.20.09 — Adam W

    I have my father”s Black Mr Chair+ottoman-he bought it around 1967 and it has been inherited into my home office. Need to refresh the dry wood finish and spring hardware-looking for restoration shops in LA.

  33. 06.30.09 — Carol Wilson

    My family has several Plycraft chairs from 1964. I am remembering as a child that my Dad’s veneer company sold the wood for these chairs to Plycraft and they were given to our family as samples. I have a Cherner chair and a George Mulhauser chair. They are both in really great condition They still have all the 1964 info on the bottom of the chairs. The gold leather chair looks like the Mr. Chair, but it is on molded legs and is armed and tufted. I can’t find it anywhere on line. The armed Cherner chair I think is walnut. I’m wondering if the gold leather chair is a one of a kind. My Dad died in 1968 nd the veneer company was sold. If you could, I would really appreciate if you think I’m on the right track about this. I can remember traveling to Mass. to see “customers” as a child.

  34. 07.15.09 — Claire

    I saw an ad for something called the “Master” chair. I’d love to know if this a version of the “Mr.” chair, or something made by a company other than plycraft. I found a chair and ottoman like the ones in the ad in local vintage store, and I’m curious about their origins.

  35. 08.09.09 — Becki Gaddum

    i have inherited a chair similar to the one above. It has green on the cushions and ottoman all in good conditon. Under the chair and ottoman is writing 54l-18-4454
    SM-it-HG-H87805 Does anyone know who made the chair. My in-laws lived in Norway for a number of years and opened a shop in the states dealing with European furniture and glass ware. B.A

  36. 09.18.09 — B

    Playcraft also made a large card table and matching chairs of this same design. I inherited them from my grandfather, as well as a lounge chair. The lounge is the basic black leather, and the card chairs are the unusual orange fabric shown above.
    Anyone have information on the card table set? Its the only one I have ever seen.

  37. 09.18.09 Stephen Coles (Stewf)

    Incredible, B. Do you have an photos of the set? Would love to see.

  38. 09.21.09 — Michael

    I have a plycraft chair very similar to the ones above, but its blue and is padded on the sides and on the arm rests. it has plycraft stickers underneath so i’m pretty sure it genuine. it also has a foot stool. I haven’t seen any others like it on the web, is it really rare or really common? a sticker underneath says it was designed by George mulhauser in 1965. any info about the chair would be greatly appreciated. cheers.

  39. 09.22.09 Nate Hofer

    @Richard, concerning the swivel/tilt hardware:
    I recently took my base apart and reassembled it. If mine is similar, it’s pretty straightforward to clean, lube and put back together. I discovered the “spring” to be a metal axle encased in a rubber sleeve encased in a metal housing. (I should have taken a pict of the whole thing taken apart, however I label it in one of my pics.

    In any case, here’s an image of just the base:

    Swivel + Tilt Hardware / Chair / Mulhauser for Plycraft

  40. 11.07.09 — jackie

    Wow!, so glad to finally find some info on my chairs! I found 2 chairs (including the detachable head rests) and matching ottomans in a sage/avocado green. The vinyl is in need of repair/replace and I have always wondered what other colors would be appropriate. They look dead on the ad above except my arm rests are not padded. Thanks!

  41. 11.10.09 — Vicki Shepherd

    Wow wish me luck im going to an auction thurs. that has one of these chairs, ive been on the computer all afternoon looking for the one i saw.
    I have a Emes i got at auction in Nappanee Ind, for next to nothing for one of these(like on Fraiser) .But ive never seen one of these .Its in pretty good shape, looks like a few screws missing on back , so i can get the screws on the site you all have on here? Im so glad i ran into this site…..wish me luck, it has the ottoman and i noticed a tiny corner of the ottoman is scuffed up, wonder how id fix that ? I live in northern Indiana ,lake area and im seeing an interest in these chairs, i feel becauseof all the design show now .Vicki in North Webster indiana

  42. 11.14.09 — David

    I found one of the Plycraft chairs without Ottoman for $20 this past summer! Love it.

  43. 11.17.09 joe p

    for those interested in all things plycraft..here is my blog for restoring a couple lounge chairs http://plycraftrestore.blogspot.com/

  44. 02.13.11 — Marty

    Hi
    I just purchased a Mr. Chair designed by Mulhausen. There is a chair and matching ottoman, with matching, tuftless cream colored leather. Both pieces still have their original labels underneath. These pieces are different, however, than any of the other Mr. Chairs that I have seen on-line. In particular, there are no arm rests and no headrest. So, the chair is a low profile and beautiful single piece of molded wood with (what appears to be) a veneer cover. I have seen pictures of the Jr. Mr. Chair but my chair does not look like that. Does anyone have any information on the year that this version of the chair was built? Thanks

  45. 05.16.11 Ezsilver

    I have 6 Plycrafts chairs and one Plycraft lounge chair. 2 ottomans as well. Does anyone have any idea what the value of these are? MY grandfather worked for Plycraft in Lawrence, Mass. I have seen prices from $150 to over $1,000. Can you tell from the pics or at least send me to anyone who knows these chairs? Thanks!

  46. 01.22.12 — kevinj.mcardle

    I have had the “Mr. Chair” and ottoman since 1961 when my dad gave it to me as an elementary school graduation present. He said I should have something comfortable to sit in and study when I went to high school. I still have the floor lamp that was part of the gift. Like others commented the ‘spring’ has gone ‘soft’. I read the other suggestions but they seem to imply I’d have to swap out the hardware for something foreign to the design. Any better suggestions?

  47. 05.15.12 — mjgord

    I have had my chair & ottoman (plycraft) for 30+ yrs, Just about 5 yrs ago the tilt mechanism “rubber incassed” tilting bracket broke, this one doesn’t have a “spring”, The under side tilting parts are all ok, it’s just the tilting mechanism rubber that came loose, the chair still works & swivels all ok. I have contacted in the past someone that has parts to fix it but now I can’t find that info anymore, All that i have read about this chair they say that the chairs have some kind of spring to the tilting motion. * * * My question is Do I have a rare chair or did some one change it be for I bought it. I paid $450.00 back then

  48. 07.15.12 — Phil

    I picked up a Mr Chair in very restorable condition, for $20 the same as the top one with black leather. My tilt/swivel base it too the one with the rubber dampener built inside, and has broken.

    mjgord, did you find a way to fix this? Does anyone have any information that may help, or any idea where to get parts? I’ve searched the whole internet and am running out of ideas. Can’t tell if it’s the rubber dampener that’s corroded inside where I can’t see, or if it’s because where the tilt mechanism slots into the chair mount has shredded.

    Many Thanks.

  49. 09.10.12 — Glenn

    In reference to several of the comments. Mr. George Mulhauser did in fact design these chairs, as well as the famous “Coconut” chair. I grew up with the Mulhauser family. Mr. Mulhauser was a fabulous man who did a great deal of designing in his own home. His son George owns a furniture building and restoration business in Bergen County New Jersey. Mr. Mulhauser went to Pratt institute, as did his son Paul. A tribute to Mr. Mulhauser can be found on his son’s woodworking site. A nicer man you could not ask to meet.

  50. 09.10.12 Stephen Coles

    Thanks for your comment, Glenn! I’ll get in touch with his son and see if we can post more information here so the history is more accessible to all.

  51. 09.30.13 — Dan

    Just picked up a Mr Chair form a consignment shop, like the rest of you it tilts, and stays tilted.
    I took the whole chair apart today, cleaned up the leather, replaced some foam, and stared at the tilt mechanism., stared some more, and got nowhere.
    Just now I was back on the floor staring at the base, and the light hit such a way that I noticed is says “Flo-Tilt”.

    So off to google, and got to this thread and the claim that someone was going to make new cylinders. One step closer, I’ll keep searching.

  52. 09.30.13 — Dan

    Here is someone who was selling old ones, so there is a chance they might pop back up somewhere.

  53. 01.05.14 — Dan

    I got an email back from PPF, I suggesting contacting them to speed up the process.

    “Sorry, I’m out of saleable ones.

    We are in the process of manufacturing them.

    Not sure when we will be delivering. You’ll be on our want list.”

  54. 04.25.14 — Scott

    I have a plycraft lounge chair and an ottoman and i love it, but it seems the naugahyde has cracked over the years and is somewhat stiff. Does anyone have any tips on cleaning it and conditioning?

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