Skip to content
Tables! Tables! Tables!

CTW (Coffee Table Wood)


A version of this coffee table design was in the Eameses’ first group of plywood furniture that debuted at the Barclay Hotel in New York City in December, 1945, and was subsequently exhibited at MoMA in March, 1946. Its name, CTW, stands for “Coffee Table Wood." This follows the designers’ practice of naming designs with acronyms that first identify its type, followed by the material used for its base. In this case, the base and tabletop share a material: molded plywood, specifically walnut. The Eameses began experimenting with molded plywood in 1941. While they were not the first to make use of this production process (using heat to bend plywood into curving forms dates to the mid-19th century), they contributed significantly to its refinement and popularization. This table’s round top has a low, wide rim that brings a sense of containment to the surface. The top is also remarkably thin, such that sometimes Herman Miller salespeople would stand on the tables to convince skeptical buyers of their strength. The plywood legs on this model are similar to the legs of Eames plywood dining and lounge chairs, developed around the same time. Wide and flat, the legs curve down from beneath the tabletop before straightening into sturdy prongs.

  • Manufacturer: Evans Products Company, Molded Plywood Division
  • Medium:Walnut plywood
  • Dimensions:15 1/2 x 34 in. (39.4 x 86.4 cm)
  • Design Date:1945
  • Item:2021.30.1