Invited by Metternich to develop his own patent in Austria, Michael Thonet left Germany in 1842 and settled in Vienna, where he founded the “Gebrüder Thonet” company in 1853, involving his five children in the company. In the capital of the Habsburg Empire, Michael Thonet moved from the use of laminated glued wood to that of steam bent wooden rods, an industrial chemical and mechanical process which permitted the production of wood furniture in large quantities.
In this period, representative products such as the “N. 1” chair, designed for the famous Schwarzenberg Palace in Vienna and gaining fame as ‘typically’ Thonet, were born. Countless other models derived from it, culminating in chair N. 14, of which more than 50 million pieces were produced between 1850 and 1930. In 1865 Gebrüder Thonet had 22 single-brand company stores throughout the world, with over 6,000 employees. In 1911, the company catalog contained 980 different products and at the end of the Second World War independent production units in various countries were created. In Austria, the home market of Gebrüder Thonet, the business was rebuilt by descendants of Michael Thonet, including his great-grandson Fritz Jakob Thonet as well as Fritz Jakob’s children Evamarie Thonet and Richard Thonet. After the war, they had to start from scratch, with little more than their experience and passion for furniture. They recommenced their business in one of Gebrüder Thonet’s former warehouses in Vienna. From 1948 on they rented a production site in Rohrau, Steiermark, before they finally built their own production site in Friedberg in 1962. In 1976 the Austrian business changed its name from Gebrüder Thonet to its current name Gebrüder Thonet Vienna.The historic collaborations with the most important architects of the Vienna school were critical: Otto Wagner commissioned the design of the Postsparkasse furnishings, and Adolf Loos designed the chair for the Café Museum.
Today, GTV renews its relationship with the world of design by conceiving a new phase of its history together with designers who are preeminent on the international stage. It is a company vision which confirms the vocation of GTV for project research, the link between its own past and the future, with the goal of continuing on the road outlined by tradition through innovation.
In Friedberg, Styria, the „Thonet“ museum, owned by GTV, is a benchmark for its history.
GTV is owned by Moschini Spa from before 2003.
All products created by GTV are characterized by the new trademark Wiener GTV Design.