Getama, Furniture for Life
Getama is the very epitome of something authentically Danish. It is probably the most shining example imaginable of Danish Design. Founded in 1899 in the North Jutland town of Gedsted, where a young, innovative joiner by the name of Carl Pedersen had the brilliant idea of using seaweed from the Limfjord – of which there was a plentiful supply – to make mattresses. Hence the name Gedsted Tang- og Madrasfabrik (Gedsted Seaweed and Mattress Factory).
At a time when most people used mattresses stuffed with straw or heather, it transpired that more comfortable and supportive mattresses were in great demand. In fact, the new mattresses proved so popular that Carl Pedersen was obliged to build a new and bigger workshop the following year. The range of mattresses gradually expanded, and in 1910, Gedsted Tang- og Madrasfabrik launched its first bed and furniture collection.
The excellent craftsmanship, the fine quality and the superior level of service had made the factory renowned and respected throughout Denmark, but it was the working relationship with Hans Wegner, the furniture architect, that helped Gedsted Tang- og Madrasfabrik make its international breakthrough as a furniture company. As a result of this breakthrough, the company had to come up with a shorter and more international name, and so in 1953, Gedsted Tang- og Madrasfabrik became Getama.
Many people consider Wegner to be the uncrowned king of modern Danish furniture design. Having trained as a joiner, Wegner succeeded better than anyone else in uniting craftsmanship of the very highest class with sculptural and functional design. Wegner also played a key role in making Danish Design famous worldwide – from which Getama benefited hugely when the company entered into a working relationship with the architect in 1949.
Wegner often visited Gedsted and spent many days at the factory, joining, refining and adjusting the new furniture until it satisfied his sense for aesthetics, and its design was appropriate to production processes. Wegner became one of Getama’s principal architects and designed several true masterpieces for the company.