The History of Adirondack Chair Plans
The Story of Adirondack
Chairs, from From
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Adirondack chair or "Muskoka"
chair is a type of chair favored in rural, outdoor settings. The
precursor to today's Adirondack chair was designed by Thomas Lee in
1903. He was on vacation in Westport, New York, in the heart of the
Adirondack Mountains, and needed outdoor chairs for his summer home. He
tested the first designs on his family. The name Muskoka was adopted
from the municipality of Muskoka, Ontario, a cottage country area
north of Toronto.
The original Adirondack chair was made with
eleven pieces of wood, cut from a single board. It had a straight back
and seat, which were set at a slant to sit better on the steep mountain
inclines of the area. It also featured wide armrests, which became a
hallmark of the Adirondack chair.
Today's Adirondack chairs
usually feature a rounded back and contoured seat. The style has also
been translated to other pieces of furniture, from gliders to love
seats. Some modern Adirondack chairs are made out of plastic lumber or
engineered wood instead of wood.
After arriving at a final design
for the "Westport plank chair," Lee offered it to Harry Bunnell, a
carpenter friend in Westport, who was in need of a winter income.
Bunnell quickly realized the chair was the perfect item to sell to
Westport's summer residents, and apparently without asking Lee's
permission, Bunnell filed for and received patent 794,777 in 1905.
Bunnell manufactured his plank chairs for the next twenty years. His
"Westport chairs" were all signed and made of hemlock in green or medium
dark brown. The modern name refers to the Adirondack Mountains, which
Westport is near.
Adirondack chairs are becoming popular as
outdoor seating at cafés because the flat armrests are suitable for
setting food and beverages on, making it possible to provide individual
seating without tables.
They are commonly made as school projects
around the world.
Adirondacking is a term used in the southern
U.S. to describe public picnics at which people sit primarily in
Adirondack chairs. It is also used to describe using public
Adirondack-chair displays outside home-improvement and grocery stores as
a leisure break while shopping."
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