Jasmine Oliver. Rocking Chair. January 28th , 2018.
The original inventor of the rocking chair is still unknown. Though some stories attribute its invention to Benjamin Franklin, no historical evidence can prove them right. Historians can only trace the rocking chair's origins to North America during the early 18th century. They were originally used in gardens and were just ordinary chairs with two rockers at their bottoms. It was in 1725 that early rocking chairs first appeared in England. They were also used as garden chairs and had hoop-shaped backs. The distinction of being the creator of the first popular rocking chair design actually belonged to England's North American colonies. Windsor rockers, as this design was called, were first built near the Windsor Castle in the early 1700s. These rocking chairs featured a round hoop back, a birdcage (with spindles known for its cage-like appearance), and a comb-back (with comb-shaped head rest). The wicker rocking chair was another popular design created during that time. The production of wicker rocking chairs reached its peak in America during the middle of the 18th century. These wicker rockers, as they were popularly known, were famous for their craftsmanship and creative designs.
At some point in history rocking chairs arrived in the USA. It would be convenient to link their arrival with that of the 'Mayflower' but they were not heard of until about a hundred years after the pilgrims arrival and it wasn't until the 1800's that American furniture manufacturers saw any merit in their production. When they did, the Salem, Boston and American Windsor rocking chairs were born. These were all popular and were used mostly for sitting in the garden or relaxing on the porch.
However, it's not just nice for the children; it's a nice chair to have in your home because it is so relaxing. Many people have a rocking chair outside on their deck or they will have a rocking chair on their porch. On restless nights, you could go outside in the hot summer air and have time to think or just relax. For those who suffer from sleepless nights, a rocking chair can calm the nerves and relax the body. Once the body and nerves became relaxed, sleep should come soon.
Michael Thonet, a German craftsman, created the first bentwood rocking chair in 1860. This design is distinguished by its graceful shape and its light weight. Thonet used bent steamed wood for these rocking chairs. Because of their affordability and beautiful design, bentwood rocking chairs not only became famous around the world but spawned countless imitators as well. Neoclassical designs also became a trend in the US during the 1890s. These rocking chairs were influenced by Greek and Roman designs as well as Renaissance and colonial era artistry. During the 1920s, however, folding rocking chairs became more popular in the US and in Europe. They were handy for outdoor activities and travel purposes. By the 1950s, rocking chairs built by Sam Maloof, a US craftsman, became famous for their durability and deluxe appearance. Maloof's rocking chairs are distinguished by their ski-shaped rockers.
Do you remember that special day when you received your very own childs rocking chair or rocking horse as a young kid? For me it was the classic rocking horse on my 3rd birthday. Oh what a wonderful birthday! I was suddenly the mighty cowboy riding on my trusted horse (through the dry and hot desert) fighting Indians as I went. It is amazing how ingrained in my memory is this little horse on a frame with four springs. Then as I grew a little older, I remember getting a real childrens chair that had my name on it and was painted camouflage to match my GI Joe decorated room. Kids rocking chairs are a very memorable piece of furniture because they are a great toy, they can fit in with the bedroom décor, and can bring hours of quality time with a loved one.
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