The History of Tolix - Style From Steel

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Shortly after the end of the First World War, Xavier Pauchard (1880-1948) was running a factory making galvanised sheet-metal domestic products, in Autun, in the Burgundian countryside.
He saw the potential of the galvanization process, in which zinc is bonded to steel and so rust-proofing it, as a basis for the production of outdoor furniture.
Xavier Pauchard did not invent the process of galvanising metal.
The process was invented by a French chemist in 1742 and was first successfully used in an industrial context by another French chemist, Stanilaus Souel, in 1836.
The process was much used in Britain during the industrial revolution and by 1850, Britain was using 10000 tons of zinc per year for the protection of steel.
The hot dip coating method, using at least 98% zinc metal for the coating, is remarkably effective.
There is normally no reaction between the air and the coating.
In rural areas the effectiveness of the galvanisation process can be reduced by aerial spraying and fertilizers.
In dry form the fertilisers are harmless but when wet form solutions that can attack galvanised coating.
In coastal areas soluble chlorides increase the corrosion rate but it is still thought to be better than any other protection process.
The protection should last between 70 and 150 years.
In 1927 the Tolix name became a registered trademark and under this banner he switched production to stools, chairs, and metal furniture.
In 1934 he developed the now classic A chair which is featured in design museums all over the world.
The spread of the A chair was assisted by French brewers who would supply them to cafe owners who promised to sell their beer.
This practice continued until the 1970's.
Tolix designs have proved their worth in a commercial environment where their robust design, the ability to stack them, and their lightness proved very popular but in the last decade they have become increasingly sought after for use in the home.
The current Managing Director, Chantel Andriot who took over the company in 2004, has capitalised on the domestic appeal of Tolix products.
The brand is flourishing and in 2011 had a turnover of 7.
2 million euros and employed eighty people.
Chantel Andriot was made a Knight of the Legion of Honour in July 2011.
Tolix is now working with two designers, Francoise Dingjian and Eloi Chafai, to introduce new products.
A children's range was introduced in 2010.
Verification of the "cool" status of Tolix designs can be found everywhere from Jamie Oliver's restaurants to Anna Wintour's (Editor of US Vogue) office.
They even appeared in Agent Provocateur's spring/summer 2011 advertising campaign.
The market has recently been diluted by Chinese copies but the superior quality of the originals is self-evident.
If you have any doubt, the Tolix name can be found subtly embossed on the products.
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