Xavier Pauchard (Burgandy 1880-1948)

"Over the years, Pauchard’sTolix has come to symbolise what I like to term democratic excellence, meaning that it's mass-produced and universally acceptable," Sir Terence Conran, noted English Designer. Xavier Pauchard was born and lived among the innumerable pine forests of the Morvan in the heart of Burgandy France.Pauchard was a roofer-zinc worker like two generations of men before him.In the period following World War I, Xavier Pauchard founded a company that manufactured galvanised steel domestic goods in the nexus of a land where wood ruled. His company flourished as his household products came to embody modern comforts and were widely sought after. Xavier was the first Frenchman to utilize the technique of galvanisation, the process of protecting an iron object from oxidation by dipping it in a vat of molten zinc heated to a temperature of 450 degrees. Soon afterPauchard registered the trademark TOLIX and set about converting his company to the production of metal furniture: chairs, stools, armchairs, cabinets and more. The pieces Pauchard created were durable, rustproof, stackable and robust. They harkened in a new era of industrial design and his furniture could be found all over France in bars, on ships, in hospitals, factories, offices as well as cafes and public parks. Pauchard was a visionary and inventive entrepreneur and Tolix metal chairs mark a particularly important stage in the story of design. Pauchard’s innovative utilization of galvanised steel allowed for the mass production of practical furniture and the Tolix chairswere the precursors of a unitary style of manufacture that would not gain widespread acceptance until the rise of malleable plastics nearly fifty years later.