The Isokon Furniture Company was established in 1935, while Jack Pritchard was still employed by Venesta Ltd. Isokon had begun to produce furniture in 1933, the first products being plywood book boxes, modular shelf units designed by Wells Coates and manufactured by Venesta. In 1936 Jack Pritchard left Venesta to run the Isokon companies full-time. The book units and their variants had had some success, and Isokon had also begun to market the products of other companies, such as Finmar and PEL. With the arrival of first Walter Gropius and then Marcel Breuer the company expanded its own range of products, particularly tables and chairs, maintaining the emphasis on the use of plywood. Progress was modest until Breuer's Long chair went into production. However, before the market could be fully developed war broke out, cutting Isokon off from its suppliers of raw materials and its principal manufacturer.
After the war Jack Pritchard made several attempts to revive the company and eventually production of the Long chair resumed, together with revised versions of the Penguin Donkey book-case and the Bottleship, both re-designed by Ernest Race.