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Folding Chairs

Updated on December 27, 2010

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Folding chairs are a common form of seating.  There are metal folding chairs for outdoor events, or folding beach chairs too.  It's hard to imagine that they've been around for 2000 years!  Yes really those chairs you've seen at the beach, or picnics, sporting events etc. are not something new.  The curule seat of ancient Rome was not only a portable chair but a mark of distinction.  It was use by senators and other senior politicians, or could be given to visiting kings as a seat of honor, almost as a throne.   The curule chair was made with wide legs forming and X, it could be made of ivory, or veneered with ivory.  Sometimes the legs were carved to look like animal legs.  The arms were low and it didn't have any back which is quite different from what we consider a chair today.  If fact the modern person would probably consider it more of a stool than a chair.  It was originally and outdoor folding chair designed for commanders in the field and that mark of significance carried over to the politicians back home.  The Throne of Dagobert is a cast bronze metal folding chair from the 8th century, that has had a back and arms added.  It was last used by Napoleon.  The folding chair was also used by church officials during the middle ages when traveling, or performing outside church leading to the name abbots chair.  It's interesting to note that until the renaissance, chairs were mainly symbols of power, and a privilege of state.

Folding Camping Chair

by Chris Ibbotson via Flickr
by Chris Ibbotson via Flickr

You can get your own chair now and you don't have to be a king to do it.  You can even get a folding table and chair if you want it.  If you're looking for folding camping chairs you've got several options to choose from.  There are the accordion style chairs that fold up into a small cylinder size.  Then there are the ones like the old folding lawn chairs, or old beach chairs that fold flat.  Before you buy your chair thing about how you're going to be transporting it.  If you're going to load up the back of an SUV with a bunch of chairs, then the ones that fold flat may be a better choice for you.  The ones that fold up into a cylinder are good if you've got to carry them on your back long distances.  Of course you should make sure that it can hold your weight, and that the fabric and stress points are reinforced so they don't tear after a couple of uses.  You can find these chairs with foot rests, or even find ones that sit low to the ground.  I have one of the low ones, that is the most comfortable chair I've been in, but it's tough to see around if you're sitting with a group of people all sitting in the taller chairs. I like to go fishing on piers, and it's not a tall enough chair to see over the rail. It makes a great folding beach chair and it's easy to fall asleep in.  

Another kind of folding chair is one that is used for events. Think of the old metal folding chairs. You seem to always see them in wrestling matches, presumably so wrestlers can hit each other over the head with them. They come with and without padding, and are useful to have around the house when guests come over. I have a few myself I got from eBay, they're pretty cheap, I think I paid about $20 a chair. You can also get them at some of the big box stores, they even come with plastic seats and metal legs to save on weight. The all metal ones are heavier, but have the advantage of being more comfortable if they're padded, and more durable. If you've got hundreds of chairs to move for an event then the light plastic folding chairs come in handy. But if you're not going to be moving them that much, I'd say get the all metal chairs with padding. You can still get wooden folding chairs, but those are even heavier than the metal chairs, although they do look nice.

It's strange to think that we've got so many options of things to sit in, whereas our forefathers didn't. The chair has become so ubiquitous, it's hard to imagine them not having been around forever. They're items every one has, and has more than one of. I guess we can consider ourselves like the royalty of the ancient world. Folding chairs, not just for kings anymore!

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      VivekSri 7 years ago

      nice that you shared those info. keep doing good hubs. liked that one.