Leg splint

Artist: Charles Eames (American, St. Louis, Missouri 1907–1978 St. Louis, Missouri)

Artist: Ray Eames (American, 1913–1988)

Date: 1942

Medium: Molded plywood

Dimensions: 42 1/4 x 7 7/8 x 3 1/2 in. (107.3 x 20 x 8.9 cm)

Classification: Miscellaneous-Wood

Credit Line: Gift of Fifty/50, 1984

Accession Number: 1984.246


During World War II, the U.S. Navy called upon Charles and Ray Eames to create a lightweight, inexpensive leg splint. The resulting design is a highly sculptural yet functional device that could be mass-produced and, being modular, conveniently and inexpensively transported. Access to military technology and manufacturing facilities allowed the Eameses to perfect their technique for molding plywood, which they had been working on for several years. In its three-dimensional, biomorphic form, the leg splint suggests the Eames' subsequent, highly influential plywood furniture designs.