Monday, September 30, 2013

A Chair By Any Other Name.....

........this iconic cottage chair was originally known as the Westport plank chair and was designed by Thomas Lee in 1903. As the story goes, Lee showed the design to a local carpenter, Harry Bunnell, who in need of some winter revenue, secured a patent for the chair and started manufacturing it, en masse in 1905. In 1938, Irving Wolpin made some changes to the design, secured another patent and changed the name to Adirondack chair.

The popularity of the chair drifted to other cottage areas and the name changed with the area. In Ontario, it is known as the Muskoka chair and in Quebec, the Laurentian Chair or Chaises des Laurentides.

Other manufacturers have changed the style slightly. Some narrow the arms - not desired - others change the shape of the top of the chair and still others add leg rests. The colours change too. Most are painted, but some keep the natural wood, oiled or stained to preserve it.

What makes the chair so appealing is its unique design. The arm rests are broad enough to hold both a drink and a snack. The chair, with its slanted seat, is close to the ground, such that you sink deeply into it and the back is tilted at just the right angle to lay back comfortably.....ahhhh! Finally, the chair is sturdy enough to hold a large adult and/or several small children :) plus it won't blow away on a windy day!!

I prefer them in all the colours of the rainbow, lined up outside shops or in parks. The perfect invitation to relax and enjoy.

Have a wonderful day!!


  1. A row of colourful chairs like that would just MAKE my Monday morning!

  2. Great history. Love these chairs especially in the bright colors!

  3. Actually, I found those chairs not only uncomfortable, but annoying to leave or enter...
    They do look pretty from afar, though.

  4. Carol, I agree with Roy. I wasn't at all comfortable in it or getting in it or out of it. I'd say annoying about covers it. But I do love to see them because they mean summer time. Thanks for the history lesson.

  5. I am familiar with the Adirondack chair name. I love all those brilliant colors as well!

  6. Absolutely fantastic, I want one in each colour