Being able to ‘take a seat’ is a luxury we all enjoy, but did you know that not everyone always experienced the same satisfaction of being able to sit in a chair? Even though chairs have been around for what seems like forever, have you ever wondered about how they evolved into what they are today?
Symbolism of Chairs
It used to be that only the king, or the most important person in a room could sit on a chair. Others stood and used stools or benches. This symbolism of chairs hasn’t changed much over the years, and can even still be recognized when you hear terms such as “first chair” in an orchestra.
History of Chairs
Finding a place to sit even traces back to Neolithic building site relics, where chair and bench-like areas could be found. This would suggest the first chairs emerged during the Stone Age, but it is not quite certain when the first seat with a back was crafted.
Of course chairs have changed quite a bit since the stone age. Into the 1800’s chairs became more commonplace in American households, with usually enough provided for every member to sit down to dinner. And in more recent times, chair design has tended to evolve with changing artistic movements such as Art Nouveau and Art Deco.
Probably the most well known chair of today is a little one piece chair that seems to show up at every party or in everyone’s backyard. It may be a tacky piece that is usually an after-thought, but the polyporpylene plastic chair seems to have earned it’s place in history.
Interested in learning more about the history of chairs? You can find a complete history of ancient chairs through modern designs at From Benches to Barstools, A History of Chairs, Posture, and Society.
The evolution of the chair, from ancient times to modern design:
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