What To Look For In A Rocking Chair

The rocking chair is believed to have been invented by Benjamin Franklin, but were most likely invented in Sweden, around 1740 and introduced to the American colonies after 1750. The design came from baby cradles during this era. The cradles had "skates" on the bottom that allowed the cradle to be rocked laterally. The original rocking chair designs came from adding rudimentary "rockers" to the bottom of a standard chair. They were the answer to the very uncomfortable wooden chairs that were common in this time period and quickly became very popular.

They evolved from simply constructed chairs to ornate and highly coveted in a short time span. There were nearly as many different styles as there were chairs by the early 19th century and were a central part of any home's decor. They could be made with something as simple as willow branches tied together with twine, or with mahogany and decorated with gold and leather.

Rocking chairs are usually designed with lathed or straight slats on the back, rather than a solid piece, to keep the weight of the chair evenly distributed throughout. If the chair's back had a solid, heavy piece of wood it would naturally recline without anyone sitting in it.

The Modern Rocking Chair

The popularity of rocking chairs may have slowed in recent times, but they are still a sought after furniture piece for the modern home.  It's believed that the recliner put an end to the rocking chair, but many homes have both in the same room.

Modern designers have put a new spin on the classic rocking chair design.  They have become long, sleek and sexy.  The perfect addition to any contemporary home.  While some are still constructed of wood, many new materials are now commonly in use.  Plastic polymers and metal rods are frequently used because of their easy fabrication.

The Future

Rocking chairs will be a staple in people's homes for as long as people enjoy sitting down.  Their classic, ergonomic design creates a functionality that goes beyond any trend.  In the future, they may look very different than they do today, but they will still be as comfortable as they were in Sweden in 1740.

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