Rockers were long used on baby cradles and toy rocking horses well before someone decided they would be of use on chairs. Baby cradles alone date back to as early as the 1400s, depicted in paintings of the time. These cradle designs date as far back as the middle ages of Europe. Later the curved bands were applied to children’s toy horses in Germany and gained popularity throughout the Victorian era.
There is some question as to who invented the first wooden rocking chair, however. There are tales that attribute its origin to Benjamin Franklin. There is, however, no historical evidence to back up this claim. Nonetheless, wood rocking chairs can be traced to North America around the 18th century. Originally they were crudely fashioned and used primarily in gardens. The chairs were basic wood chairs of the times with curved rocker bands attached to the legs. Around 1725, England was introduced to these chairs in the times of King George, where they were constructed with hooped backs for greater comfort. Read more
Over the next century artisans created many styles of rocker based chairs but only few made any notable foothold in the market. The wicker rocking chair was popular as it was easy to make and cost very little to buy. Wicker was soaring in production during the middle 1800s as the textile industry made a move from human made works to animal drafted machine processes as anything made of wood could be made into a wicker piece. Wicker rocking chairs were finely crafted and came in many creative designs and while they weren’t the most durable pieces of furniture they did make and continue to make fine decorative pieces of furniture. Read more
As I mentioned in the last article, the rocking chair was made largely popular by American manufacturers in the early 1700s. It’s history it vague but for the most part it is believed to have originated in England at the Windsor castle, which had chairs in the gardens that sat on bands of wood that curved so that they rocked when you say in them. Its namesake coming from this area, the Philadelphia-made American Windsor Rocking chair gained worldwide popularity in a short amount of time.
Over time rocking chairs gained popularity indoors and out it was born the Boston rocker which is the most often passed down piece of furniture in generational families. They took on many functions beyond just relaxing on the porch. Parents used a kind of nursery rocking chair to assuage fussy children and put them to sleep. Other times it was used to soothe an ailing child or to console emotional stress. Read more
As you may well know not every rocking chair is made for outdoors. Unless your rocker is treated with special chemicals that are suited to preserve wood or the material of your chair is not prone to rot then you face the harsh treatment of the elements that can quickly ruin any furniture left outside. While an outdoor rocking chair won’t last forever, it will surpass the lifetime of any untreated chair.
Outdoor rocking chairs are made of materials that can withstand wind, rain, snow and other harsh elements of nature. These materials include such things as various hard woods like Shorea wood (a tropical hard wood that serves as an inexpensive alternative to teak), oak, teak, the rot and termite resistant white cedar and many new sources of sustainable wood crops. Other non-wood materials include patio resins and recycled plastics. Read more