Rocking chairs have been around for ages. However, many people do not know the real history of them. Where did they come from? Who invented them? We all know they are fun to sit in and the rocking motion has been attributed to stress release and the removal of pain in the back, but not many people know exactly how they came to be.
The rocking chair’s original inventor is not known to us, but many believe it to be Benjamin Franklin. The early 1700s is when the rocking chair is thought to have originated. North America is thought to be its founding place. In 1725, England began to use them as well, however they looked much different than they do today. The design of the rocking chairs were of hoop-shaped backs and the chairs were mostly used in the outdoors. Our modern day design didn’t come until the English North American colonies invented it.
The Windsor design, called Windsor rockers, were built near Windsor in the early 18th century. This is what our modern day design stemmed from. Another popular version of the rocking chair from that time was the wicker rocking chair. These chairs were expertly built and crafted and were very widely sold in America.
In 1860, a German by the name of Michael Thonet created a rocking chair called the bentwood. It was unique because of its fluent design and extremely light weight. Thonet steamed the wood and then bent it, giving it an elegant look and attributing to its name. The bentwood rocking chairs became famous around the globe.
In 1920, folding rocking chairs were popular thanks to their portability. These were easy to take on travels and were used in outdoor activities. In the 1950s, a man named Sam Maloof created another uniquely looking rocker. His design was more durable than those before him.
Today, different rocking chair designs are still being invented. They are becoming more and more original each year. From countries like Norway and Sweden, inventors are creating new types of rockers that are changing the way we rock. From the ergonomic “gravity balance” chair of 1999 to the “chip lounger” and even the “Malibu” design, chairs are changing in every way.