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Frank Novak: Modernica, Inc.

How to make an Eames Fiberglas Chair: The History & Revival of an American Icon

Website: Modernica, Inc.

Frank Novak is the co-founder of Modernica, Inc. Modernica owns the original presses and the original preform machine that were used by Zenith Plastics for Charles Eames production of Herman Miller chairs. Their preform machine is the only such machine in existence. Both the presses and the preform machine are the very same pieces of equipment used to create thousands and thousands of chairs since their very first run in 1950 and now sixty years later, these seminal pieces of equipment are located at Modernica's new Los Angeles factory.

Frank Novak grew up in Omaha Nebraska where his family owned car dealerships from the 30's to the 70's, and an antique store from 75 to 2001. He went to Goddard College, Evergreen College and New College of California. Frank moved to California in 1986 and worked as a set builder and production designer for Roger Corman. He was the Art Director for Woody Harrelson's first film, Cool Blue. In 2000 his directorial debut Good Housekeeping was an official selection at the Cannes Film Festival. While working on films he began building furniture and in 1989 founded Modernica with his brother Jay. Together they were one of the first American companies to reproduce out of production mid century furniture. Modernica products , including the George Nelson Bubble Lamp and the Eames Fiberglass chair are sold worldwide. Modernica employs over 100 people in the Los Angeles area at their factory and film prop rental house.

Below are photos from the Modernica Archives.