Rocking Chair / April 30, 2018 / Ashlee Meyers
What do you think of when you think of a rocking chair? Grandpa rocking on the porch enjoying his after dinner pipe of tobacco? Maybe you get a picture of Grandma sitting by the fire knitting furiously and then falling asleep with the cat on her lap? What about a mother nursing her new born baby until the baby eventually falls to sleep (or the mother does). There is no other piece of furniture which quite evokes our memories to the same extent as the humble rocking chair, many illustrators even picture Santa Claus is a rocking chair, having forty winks before setting off back up the chimney. This chair has been an inherent part of our history and, as with so many other things has evolved a long way from its crude beginnings.
Michael Thonet a German craftsman made the first 'Bentwood' rocking chair in 1860. This design was unlike others of it's time, it was lightweight and graceful. He used steamed wood which made them very affordable as well as beautiful and had great success with them in Europe. During the 1920's a new style came on the market which made them even more useful, the 'Folding' version, which when used in the garden could be folded up and taken indoors in bad weather. With the arrival of the automobile it was useful for picnics and other outdoor activities. After this, this type of chair virtually 'stood still' until the 1950's when Sam Maloof began making deluxe rocking chairs, which are different again, as their rockers are ski-shaped.
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