Michael Thonet's lifetime achievements impressively reflect the transition from handcraft to industrial mass production in the 19th century. However, the success of Thonet's production process was not only based on perfecting the bending of solid wood; it was the entrepreneurial vision of master joiner Michael Thonet that guaranteed the continual development of products and production techniques over the years. The best proof of his extraordinary abilities is the bentwood furniture, which has been in continuous production in Frankenberg following the originals by Michael Thonet. The Museum Thonet started out on a very small scale. Many pieces were acquired or exchanged on site since the factory has been producing furniture in Frankenberg since 1889.
Georg Thonet, a great-grandson of founder Michael Thonet, delivered the decisive boost to the collection due to his passion for finding and purchasing Thonet furniture even in the most remote corners of the world. The reopening of the Museum Thonet in 1989 took place precisely one hundred years after the establishment of the Thonet factory in Frankenberg.