A very brief history of the chair

Did you know?


There is evidence that chairs were used as early as the Stone Age (10,000-5,000 BC).

The Egyptians used two types of chairs, the throne type with the straight back as a symbol of power and the klismos with the rounded back and seat that encouraged slumping.  The klismos has been refined and is still in use today in many variations.



Klismos chair 450 BC            Ancient Greek throne


After the fall of the Roman empire, chairs all but disappeared until they reappeared in the Middle Ages as straight, rigid symbols of power and status.

It was not until the 18th Century that chair design really took off.  Until then people squatted or sat on the floor as they still do in many cultures.

The origin of the rocking chair is in North America in the early 1700’s where it was an ordinary chair on rockers and used in gardens.

In 1725 rockers first appeared in England.

In 1860 Michael Thonet built the first bent wood rocker.

In the 1950’s Sam Maloof became famous for his rockers.

John Moldovan started to make rockers in 1998 and now lives and works in Sonoma, CA.