Steam was the key driver of early industrialisation. Steam locomotives transported goods and people; steam engines set looms, boats and mills in motion. And thanks to carpenter and inventor Michael Thonet, born on 2 July 1796, steam was also the key factor in the first industrially manufactured pieces of furniture. A pioneer in the furniture industry, Thonet invented a technique in the mid-19th century that allowed rods of beechwood to be bent into delicate, curved shapes. It was using this method that he would go on to manufacture his famous coffee house furniture.
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