In 1954 Manfred Steinfeld and Sam Horvitz purchased a defunct bentwood chair company and re-fashioned it into Shelby Williams. Their timing was impeccable. The vibrant, Mid-Century lifestyle was gaining momentum, resulting in a surplus of travel and dining out. Shelby Williams pieces fit the bill. As their renowned “Gazelle” chair attests to (though not to be confused with the Gazelle chair of contemporary Dan Johnson), their style was paired down enough for hotels and restaurants, but maintained a distinctive air of sophistication that resonated with residential consumers.