Recliners Throughout the Ages


Recliners have been popular for many years, and come in a wide variety of styles and looks. Have you ever wondered where they came from or why they are so popular? Looking back at the history of seating it becomes clear how come the recliner has had such a good history of satisfied sitters. Lounging and reclining chairs go as far back in recorder history as ancient personal seats.

In the present recliners can be found in many settings such as homes, hospitals, medical clinics, and treatment centers. This is due in part to their therapeutic qualities. Reclining seating has been widely used and seen throughout the ages. Some of the earlier incarnations of the recliner have been in the lounging chairs popular in fancy parlor. These chairs allowed the sitter to sit with their feet off the floor.

Although the health benefits have not always been clear in some critics minds. Rather they viewed as these chairs as a means to just relax. This being said the recliner has been used through history, and have come in a wide variety of styles, from the very ornate to the downright plain. The first recliners where seen in the 1700’s and 1800’s and were non-motorized. There were models of these recliners that permanently reclined.

It was not a given that these chair would come with a foot rest. Multi position reclining chairs began to be seen in the late 1800’s. These chairs could be manually adjusted to recline in various ways. One notable instance in history of these reclining chairs is Napoleon III, who is rumored to have had a padded armed, cot style recliner.

In fact this may have been the first recorded instance of a recliner. Edward Knabusch and Edwin Shoemaker, in 1928, came up with what they thought was a great new idea for a reclining chair. Their earliest models reclined whenever you leaned back in them. However, these gentlemen were not the only ones who know people liked to relax.

Recliners Gains Wide Popularity

When the 1950’s rolled around most American homes had a recliner or two. There function and style had grown as well. Although during this time the recliner was viewed as a “Man’s” chair. Being able to put your feet up at the end of a long work day was sought after. Recliners became central to family rooms as TV’s grew in popularity.

This is when it became common place to have a recliner in a home. Whereas before the recliner was a luxury. Also around this time people began to see the health benefits of these chairs as well. With the nature of work during this period, a recliner might have been the only way a man coulee set without back or leg pain.As soon as Father got home everyone knew to vacate the chair.

Taste Changes in Family and Living Rooms

Recliners of this era were typically heavy and overstuffed. When changes in decor style changes so did the chairs. At this point quite a few individuals decided not to have these types of recliners. By the 1970′ these comfy relics found their way to basements and garages. In fact this may have been the birth of the “Man Cave” concept widely known today. Changes in taste seemed to lean toward saving space.

As many can attest through personal experience, these newer, more compact models found their way in to the living room of the 1970’s. However these chairs tended to be in out of the way dens and not the formal living rooms. Some people just refused to get rid of these comfy chairs.

The Latest Era in Recliners

Today’s recliners are made with health benefits and comfort that is hard to match.Physical and mental health is taken into consideration when companies today design modern recliners. Lift chairs, heated and no heated massage chairs, and even multi-seating options are available today. So whatever the buyer need there is a chair for them. Of course these are only a few examples of modern recliners.

The recliner industry has grown into a billion dollar phenomenon and continues to grow with the changing needs of the populace. Recliners are also used in office and health care settings as well. Just take a look at the modern computer chair as an example of a simple recliner. Most office chair do recline today. This allows you to lean back to rest your back and shoulders while typing or talking on the phone.


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