Our Design History

Norwood Hubbell, Fleetwood’s founder, had the great fortune of collaborating with Henry P. Glass on several designs, including Swingline Children's Furniture. Known as “Folding Glass” by designers because of his collapsible designs that optimized shipping, portability and storage, Glass was born in Vienna in 1911 and was a successful architect until Anschluss. Denounced, he was sent to Dachau and then Buchenwald, where his captors forced him to design a Nazi officer cemetery. In 1939, his wife was successful in getting him released by the Gestapo. After gaining his freedom, the couple immigrated to New York where he became a furniture and product designer in addition to continuing his architectural work.

Glass, a strong environmental advocate, built one of the first passive solar homes in America in 1948. He also started the industrial design department in the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he served as a professor for more than twenty years.

Several of Glass’ pieces are on permanent display in the American Art Collection at the Art Institute of Chicago. Glass, known for the design of the Hairpin table leg, was awarded 52 US patents and received numerous other awards.

Henry P. Glass
A concept sketch of an attached table and chair from 1963
An octagon-shaped table with chairs attached to each edge.
A colorful sketch of a desk and table concept.

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