The Thonet Brothers pioneered a radical innovation in the constructions of furniture in 19th century Austria. The company succeeded in refining the technique of bending solid wood to achieve the first large scale mass-production line. This was a key development in the history of furniture design, since it marked the transition from individual handmade pieces to industrially manufactured products. Thonet did not remain unaffected by Jugendstil (Art Nouveau). Bentwood furniture entered the realm of art and was lifted into the awareness of the elite which was increasingly interested in contemporary design.