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Old Fashioned Front Porches | Porch Swings | Gliders | At Home Again

Updated on August 14, 2012

Old Fashioned Porches and porch swings or gliders were once an almost necessity for the family home.

Up until Air Conditioning, TVs and other modern day conveniences the front porch was the extension of the living room on nice summer evenings.

The front porch was the main family evening event especially on a summer evening when the house was still hot from the day and cooking the evening meal.

And no front porch was complete without a glider or a porch swing hanging from chains attached to the porch ceiling.

The porch swing generally hung at one end of the porch or in some cases on extra wide porches would hang looking out into the front yard.

Some might be even convinced the positioning of the porch swing was strategic so that the parents could keep one eye on it at all times out the window or a screen door.

This was just to make sure the young men kept their manners while courting their daughter(s).

With nothing else to do in the evenings this was the “In” place for families to gather, and visit with neighbors.

The porch swing probably was one of the most used seats for couples to court (date). They would dream and later become engaged rocking and holding each other in the swing.

After marriage a porch swing would often rock a young child’s pain away from a fall or to rock babies to sleep before taking them inside and placing them in their crib for the evening.

Even in the golden years a porch swing kept a couple at peace on an evening on the front porch watching the neighbors and events of the evening.

The glider was built much like a porch swing but hung on a base by arms that would swing underneath the seat.

Most porch swings were made only 5’ wide so that they would fit on the end of a typical 6’ wide porch.

This obviously meant a couple would be close and cozy for those romantic evenings.

The traditional porch swings were made of light wood frames and slats and just weren’t built real solid.

When a heavy weight like Aunt Betty Lou came by and took a seat everyone would gasp at each swing watching and listening to the creak of the tight chains and seat.

At any moment they were expecting it to either pull out of the ceiling or the swing to break in half each time she would swing back and forth.

The swing or glider often required repainting every few years along with the porch deck.

Most houses were painted in white with the porch floor painted in gray.

The porch swing and or glider often were painted white, black or a hunter green.

For some who wanted to be bold or have the porch swing stand out, fire engine red, salmon, or a canary yellow was a common color

If the paint began to peel it was a chore to scrape all the little slats front and back. Most all the paint used in those days contained lead. Not a good idea for modern day exposure to a family.

Many also painted the porch ceiling a sky blue for various beliefs and wives tails.

Some believed it kept bird’s spiders and wasp away; others thought it kept evil spirits from visiting, while others just liked the open sky and calming cooling feel after a hot summer day.

I can remember as a kid lying down on a porch swing and counting the rows in the blue beadboard ceiling as I would slow rock away to an afternoon nap.

Like everything else modern day materials have improved the durability and strength of a modern day porch swing.

Porch swings have also become very “green” using poly lumber made from recycled plastic bottles. Frames are also made using poly lumber or aluminum.

Fasten it all together with Stainless Steel screws and the maintenance and life of a modern day porch swing is far superior over the old time wooden ones.

The poly lumber is also made with a variety of solid colors for any décor. These swings will never chip, peel, or fade from UV Rays.

So if you’re tired of the indoor routine and want to kick back and enjoy a summer evening just like in the olden days a modern day porch swing just might be a good choice for your front or even back porch.

Amish made Poly and poly aluminum porch swings and gliders are courtesy of Cottage Craft Works .com


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      4 years ago

      Laurie, thank you so much for your message. I will never fergot a conversation I had with my pastor's wife about 12 years ago. My husband and I had just started going to this particular church which is now our family and has been for 13 years. My son was about 1 at the time, a little tiny boy diagnosed with cerebral palsy, we hadn't found out until he was 9 weeks old. From 9 weeks to 1 year I walked in a cloud of self-pity but had no idea that was what I was doing. I loved the Lord and my husband and I married with one of the purposes being that we would be vibrant, victorious, conquering-it-all for the Lord and in the Lord couple. Well, 2 years later we have our son 2 months early and born at only 1 lb, we were confused and terrified. Fastforwarding a year, I sat down with this woman who I barely knew and she told me something that absolutely changed my life, she told me the one thing I had to let go of was SELF-PITY; at first I was offended, I'm not feeling sorry for myself! I thought, I'm just a poor christian woman who has been given a very unfair situation and I don't know what to do next. Well after praying about it, I knew she was right and I began what would take years to do in getting rid of the self-pity. My son is 13 years old and we have gone through it, like you wouldn't believe, and every day I still have to remind myself that self-pity is an enemy and to not let it creep in. The moment I made that decision to let go of self-pity and repent, my faith was restored, my strength renewed and my dreams in God are bigger, I also began to grow spiritually. Self- pity is very deceptive because usually those who struggle with it have no idea that is what they are struggling with. Thank you so much for reminding me of these valuable lessons.God Bless you and your ministry to us ladies.With Love, Laura


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