With the invention of bentwood furniture, Michael Thonet laid the cornerstone of industrial production. He was born in 1796 in Boppard/Rhine, where he opened his own workshop in 1819. Together with his sons he founded a company in 1849; within a short amount of time it became globally successful and expanded rapidly. More than 865,000 bentwood chairs per year were produced in today's Czech Republic, Hungary, and Russia. Michael Thonet died in Vienna in 1871; his sons then took over the company.