Gerald Summers (1899-1967) is hailed as the most innovative designer in Britain during the 1930s.
After traveling through Tangiers, Morocco and Madrid as a young child, Summers was educated at Eltham College. There he excelled at carpentry.
Returning from WWI Summers found work as a labourer and married Marjorie Amy Butcher. Butcher noticed his talent for design and craft with a wedding gift Summers created - a stunning dressing table and wardrobe set. They went into business as 'Makers of Simple Furniture'.
Summers particularly liked working with airplane plywood. In 1932/33 he designed what was to become his most successful piece - the Bent Plywood Armchair, made from a single sheet. It was part of a small exhibition with Alvar Aalto and now features in the collection of several important design museums, Vitra and MoMA included.
Since plywood was useful for warcraft as well as furniture, the onset of WWII halted the supplies for Summers' furniture. He closed down the furniture factory and began producing ball bearings. Summers was an unsung hero of the design world of his time. His talent is powerfully evident in the furniture and objects he created.