Shopping Cart

The History of Chairs

Posted on

Hey, Camp Folks!

You may want to take a seat for this Blog post. An unbelievably popular item, you likely sit in at least a couple of chairs if not a handful more every day! I mean, where else are you going to sit? The couch? Your bed? The car?!! It’s hard to imagine a world without any, but once upon a time there were no chairs for you to take a load off.

Prehistoric Chairs (a.k.a. taking a seat)
Of course, there was a time when there were no manmade objects at all—chairs notwithstanding! No chairs?!! Say it ain’t so!

Before there were chairs, people would sit on anything that was handy like a big log or a tree stump…maybe a large rock, or a miniature mound in the grass. These may not have been the greatest options in the comfort department, but it was the best folks could do for the time (and it got the job done)!

Chairs of Old
One of the earliest seats in the world is from roughly 5000 years back, made by the Ancient Egyptians for their Pharoahs and High Priests to sit upon: an Elevated Throne. In another 2000 years, the Romans introduced the Divan. Essentially a sofa, the Divan was a frill only found in the possession of the wealthy.

Around the same time, the Greeks contributed a bench style seat. It was simple, with no back to it. Its simplicity led to large scale seating in amphitheaters and the Roman Coliseum. The Ancient Greeks are also to credit for the Klismos Chair which included the back of the chair (as a throne, but with less ornament an detail). This Klismos Chair was mostly used by philosophers, scholars, and artisans.

Chairs and Chairs…
Eastern cultures didn’t do much to develop the chair—even today, they tend to squat, kneel, or sit on the floor instead of using a chair. Of course, they have chairs, they just use them much, much less. The Western world, however, REALLY likes chairs and brought about plenty of chair changes. It was Guiseppe Gaetano Descalzi, an Italian cabinet maker who crafted the first basic wooden chair for a dining room table (considered to be the first modern chair), the Chiavari Chair. At this time, things had yet to be mass-produced, so the Chiavaris remained rare.

Along with the Industrial Revolution came mass production of chairs at a cheaper rate. Chairs were suddenly found in just about every western home. And they kept evolving. Thomas Jefferson actually invented the swivel chair just a year or two before our nation’s Independence. He supposedly wrote the Declaration of Independence from the (at the time) one and only swivel chair in existence.

Charles Darwin is credited with the accidental invention of the office chair in the 1840s. Weary of the constant up-and-down of his office work, he added wheels to his favorite chair. A decade later, one Otto Von Bismarck provided wheeled chairs to all his government workers in an effort to increase their efficiency. This directly brought Darwin’s accidental invention into the mainstream.

By 1904, focus was finally brought to an outdoor chair. An absolute classic, the Adirondack Chair is still in great demand today. Another American outdoor classic came along in the late 40s: the folding lawn chair with woven webbing. While they’re quite outdated now, these lawn chairs used to be the epitome of luxury and convenience at the beach or in the backyard!

Nowadays, we have collapsible camping chairs and extremely portable chairs for your summer camp stays and any other outdoor adventures you have this summer! Take a look at our seating selection from Helinox and Crazy Creek when you click right here. And, as always, thanks for reading!


- John


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published