Have you ever wondered about the origin of the chair? where does it come from and who invented it?
If you have, you are in the majority. About 90% of us admit to asking this question in surveys around the world.
Today, Focal Upright will explore the answers and find out who invented the chair and its history.
History of the Chair
Get out of your chair and sit down. Take a good long look at it. It shapes our bodies. It shapes our thinking. It is one of the most important technologies that a child in America or Europe will encounter. A child learns how to eat in an elevated mode as soon as it is weaned. It is strapped into a specially molded mini chair that can be used for automobile transport. Sometimes it can even be carried in one small seat. A chair is a common object in school and one of the first words that a child learns how to read and write.
Yes, chairs are fundamental in every way. They have been around for millennia, along with their more humble cousins, the benches, and stools. They are not essential or particularly healthy, even though they may be required for some activities. The majority of people in the world didn’t use chairs until recently. Many still don’t. Chairs have been spreading inexorably all over the globe, sometimes encouraged by Western world influence or rule but more often adopted spontaneously. This change was one of the most profound and seemingly irreversible in human history.
Where does the word chair come from?
Chair is a derived word from an English word “chaere” from Old French “chaiere”, which means chair, seat, or throne. It is the Latin word cathedra (chair), which gives rise to our term for cathedrals. Because cathedrals are where bishops have seats.
Who invented the Chair?
No one has been identified as the inventor of the Chair. The chair was different from a stool with 3 legs or a larger bench seat. It had four legs and a back and was reserved for the wealthy. These first chairs were highly ornamented status symbols and could be accessed via steps that led to a platform or dais, which was usually accessed by a king or religious leader. In the Renaissance, the chair became a symbol of power and the mark of high office. Portable chairs were made from expensive materials like ebony and precious metals, silk, velvet, and silk, but can also be made with cheaper wood or leather.
When was the chair invented? The ancient Egyptians are believed to be the first to invent a four-legged seat with a back, better known to most as a chair. The earliest examples have been found in tombs dating as far back as 2680 B.C. They could be covered with leather or cloth and made from carved wood. Sometimes, they were only 10 inches tall. Chairs in ancient Egypt were of extraordinary richness and splendor. They were made of ivory and ebony, or carved and gilded wood, and covered with costly materials and intricate patterns.
Surviving examples of chairs from medieval Europe are often ornate works associated with royalty and nobility. During the Renaissance, chairs came into more common use, their design reflecting the changing costumes and furnishings of the period. Distinctive designs developed in France and England. In modern times the range of chair designs and materials has increased enormously.
The chair that a person sat in was usually taller and more luxurious, and the higher the honor. The pharaoh would sit on a throne at state occasions, sometimes with a small footstool.
Egyptian families rarely owned chairs. If they did, it was often the head of the household that sat in a chair. The chairs could be painted to resemble the expensive inlaid and carved chairs, but this was only for the wealthy.
Although the earliest images of chairs in China date back to sixth-century Buddhist murals, steles show that chairs were common at that time. Chairs became popular in China only after the turn of the twelfth century. The reasons behind the adoption of the chair are not clear, according to scholars. The most common theories suggest that the chair is indigenous Chinese furniture, that it evolved from a camp stool imported from Central Asia, that it was brought to China by Christian missionaries in the seventh century, and that it was Buddhist monastic furniture that was brought to China from India. It is not common in modern China to sit on the floor level, as opposed to Japan or Korea.
Modern history and the Renaissance of the chair
In Europe, it was owing in great measure to the Renaissance that the chair ceased to be a mark of high office, and became the customary companion of whoever could afford to buy it. Once the idea of privilege faded the chair speedily came into general use. The chair was quickly modified to keep up with the times every few years.
American households adopted chairs in the 1880s. Usually, there was one chair for every family member to use when they sat down to eat. Factory-made “fancy chairs”, such as those made by Sears, were available in the 1830s. Roebuck and Co. made it possible for families to buy machined sets. Chairs became more readily available with the Industrial Revolution.
In the 20th century, technology was used more in chair construction. This included such things as all-metal folding chairs, metal-legged chairs, the Slumber Chair, moulded plastic chairs, and ergonomic chairs. Radio and television made the recliner a very popular design.
Modernism was born in the 1960s and produced new types of chairs, including the Hardoy chair, the butterfly chair, and bean bags. The pod chair that turns is an egg-shaped shape. In 1966, it introduced the Bofinger chair, a mass-produced plastic chair. Technological advancements led to the production of molded plywood and wood laminated chairs as well as leather and polymers chairs. The chair’s mechanical technology allowed for adjustable chairs, particularly for offices. Massage chairs were created by motors embedded into the chair.
Facts about the chair
Who invented the Chair?
Although the name of the Chair’s inventor is not known, it is believed that the Chair was invented around 2600 B.C. during the Ancient Egyptians Period in history, also known as the Early Dynastic Period era for inventions (3100 – 2686 BCE).
The Neolithic period saw the creation of stone seats in a shelter or home. Orkney’s Skara Brae, in Scotland, was the first to find evidence of Stone Age furniture. There, Neolithic builders had no access to wood and used the local stone as their only material.
Ancient Egyptian Chair
In the Valley of the Kings, there was evidence of the creation of the chair’s invention as early as the royal tombs. These stunning Ancient Egyptians chairs were made from the most luxurious and expensive materials, such as ivory and ebony. They were also gilded in gold.
Ancient Mesopotamian chair
Ancient Mesopotamia civilizations, such as the Sumerians or Babylonians, also used chairs. Evidence of this can be seen in relief decorations and paintings from the period. The Ancient Mesopotamians made exquisite chairs, with intricate designs and gold sheathing. The Mesopotamian Chair was painted brightly in bright colors, inlaid with silver and gold, copper, bronze, or carved ivory, often depicting mythical creatures.
Did Jesus invent the chair?
Jesus didn’t invent dining tables and chairs. The Passion of the Christ affirms that. Jesus creates the dining table with chairs in a flashback. A confused Mary gazes at a beautiful table in the scene.
In the 5th Century BC, the Ancient Greeks created the ‘klismos’ chair. It is often depicted in fine Ancient Greek art pottery. The elegant klismos chair featured splayed, curved legs and a concave seat. The classic Klismos chair is defined by its curved backrest. This is a timeless design that dates back to classical antiquity.
Ancient Roman Chair
Most chairs made in Ancient Rome were made from wood, including maple, oak, and willow. The Roman chair was decorated with ivory, gold, and tortoiseshell, as well as other precious materials. While the cathedral is a Roman version of the Greek Klismos, the curule chair has a more ancient connection to Ancient Rome. The curule chair was originally very similar in form to the modern folding chair, but eventually received a good deal of ornament. They had curved legs that formed an X shape. The curule chair did not have a back and had low arms. This was in contrast to the sodium, which had both a back and armrests.
Gothic chairs were built between the 12th and the 15th centuries to reflect the dramatic Gothic style of architecture. They featured heavy carving, pointed arches, and a paneled structure. The wooden chairs of that era were decorated with either paint or carving with tracery. They featured simple cut-outs made out of flowers.
Medieval Europe Chair
The Medieval chairs were found in castles during the period. These chairs were made of wood like Oak, Ash, and Elm. The joints of the Medieval Europe chair were held together by iron nails or wooden pegs. As an exterior finish, different types of glue were used to attach the canvas or leather chairs. Many of these chairs looked heavy and unattractive, but they were actually decorated with Gilding and Tracery, Ornately Carved, and Decorative Metalwork. They were also covered with velvet, leather, or tapestry. The Medieval chair could also be painted. The most popular colors were red and green, but yellow and black were also available. The paint was used to paint heraldic designs onto chairs belonging to nobles, royalty, and the Lord of The Castle.
Early American furniture was inspired by the Jacobean chairs (1600-1690), which were made under King James I. Jacobean chairs had long backs and upholstered seats. The legs were also often turned. Comfortable Farthingale chairs were made for ladies in the Jacobean period. They had a wide, cushioned seat that was covered with high-quality fabric. Farthingales are named after the ability of farthingales to fit large-hooped skirts.
During the Renaissance period, the chair was no longer a mark of power or a sign of high office. They were made available to all who could afford them. In the Renaissance era, chair designs and styles were lighter and more refined.
William and Mary Chair
This chair style, also called early Baroque (1690-1725), used the dovetailing method to join furniture pieces. It is lighter and more inspired by Oriental designs. Chinese furniture was made from walnut, maple, maple, and sycamore and featured oriental designs. The padded seats were supported by trumpet-shaped legs and rounded feet.
Queen Anne Chair
This elegant Queen Anne style was constructed from cherry or walnut and had comfortable curving shapes, cushioned seating, and the cabriole leg. This was when the wingback chair was first introduced.
After King George II, III, and IV, the Georgian style featured mahogany chairs in rich red colors that were sturdy and durable. Chippendale and Adam, as well as Sheraton, designed the chairs with elaborate carvings and gold ornamentation.
Thomas Chippendale (1718-1779) designed chairs with exquisite and intricate carvings. Chippendale designs can be divided into three styles: Gothic, Rococo, and Chinese. These designs were combined into the harmonious Chippendale chair.
Robert Adam Chair
Robert Adam, a famous furniture designer, and architect created oval and shield-back chairs with straight legs. These chairs were designed to match elegant British homes.
George Hepplewhite (1727-1786) is closely linked to the graceful Neoclassicism style that featured delicate appearances and contrasting veneers and inlays, as well as the shield-back style of the chair.
French Louis Style Chair
This chair was named after the French kings Louis XIII (the Sun King), Louis XIV, Louis XV, and Louis XVI.
Louis XIII Style chair
The Louis XIII style reflected French country furniture. It saw the introduction of the ‘Os de Mouton (legs from a lamb) chair with an upholstered seat and back featuring a whimsical flame stitch pattern.
Louis XIV Style chair
The Louis XIV style was created when the magnificent, opulent, and luxurious Palace at Versailles was constructed. The Sun and its Rays chair design were very popular in honor of Sun King. It featured intricate marquetry and beautiful gold leaf decorations.
Louis XV Style Chair
Louis XV chairs were decorated with intricate veneers and hand-painted with Oriental lacquers.
Louis XVI Style chair
Louis XVI was dominated in neoclassicism, with designs derived from classical art and Greco-Roman antiquities. Court chairs were made for ornamental purposes during this extravagant period when Marie-Antoinette was crowned queen. They often featured floral motifs and leaf bands like acanthus or bay.
Directoire Style Chair
This style was created during the French Revolution. It replaced the extravagant French Louis Style with more subtle designs. The designs of Napoleon’s expedition in Egypt included Ancient Egyptian motifs.
Thomas Sheraton (1751-1806) published his designs in “The cabinet makers and upholstery drawing book” in 1791. He used rosewood, satinwood, and even tulipwood for beautiful inlaid decorations and decorative patterns on mahogany. The Sheraton chair style was in line with the French Directoire style, which was based on the French Louis Style.
In the Victorian Era (1840-1910), mass production of chairs was possible for the first time. Although many English kinds of wood were used in the Victorian chair, Ebony, Burr Walnut and Rosewood were also popular. These chairs were large and extravagant with many curves. Button upholstery was used to make the furniture cumbersome. The Chesterfield, which featured thick layers of well-sprung upholstery and was named after Earl Chesterfield, replaced the buttoned upholstery. In 1881, Alfred P. Southwick invented the Electric Chair.
When King Edward VII was elected to the throne, the Victorian-styled chairs were replaced by light, cheerful, and cheerful floral designs in pastel colors. Edwardian chairs were made of light materials like wicker or bamboo.
Arts and Craft Style Chair
William Morris (1834-1896) established the Arts and Crafts Movement in Britain around 1862. It was a reaction against mass production and sought to preserve individual craftsmanship and design. The Arts and Crafts chair was made from natural materials and featured simple forms and minimal ornamentation. Arts and Crafts decorations include stylized flowers, Celtic motifs, and upside-down hearts.
Art Nouveau Chair
While mass production was back in the Art Nouveau period (1890-1910), it was emphasized fine craftsmanship as well as the use of high-quality materials. Art Nouveau styles were characterized by long, sinuous lines, intricate details, and stylized flowers, buds, and leaves. Exotic materials like unusual woods, iridescent glasses, marquetry, and silver are all available.
Chair – Modernism
After WW1, the basic styles and designs were absorbed into Modernism (1918-1950). The emphasis on bold primary colors and abstract patterns influenced the design of the chair. Fiberglass, Formica, and plastic were all common during this time. Vinyl, tubular steel, laminated plywood, and vinyl were also some of the cheaper materials.