Sunrise In A Red Adirondack Chair | Nissequogue, New York

© Sophie W. Smith

Joined October 2012

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Artist's Description

The Adirondack chair (also called a Muskoka chair in Canada) is a simple chair made of wood or man made materials, generally used outdoors. Originally made with 11 flat wooden boards, it features a straight back and seat and wide armrests. The advent of various man made materials have allowed for this style of chair to be made from polymers and other hard impact plastics.

The first Adirondack chair was designed by Thomas Lee while vacationing in Westport, New York, in the Adirondack Mountains in 1903. Needing outdoor chairs for his summer home, he tested his early efforts on his family. After arriving at a final design for a “Westport plank chair,” he offered it to a carpenter friend in Westport in need of a winter income, Harry Bunnell. Bunnell saw the commercial potential of such an item being offered to Westport’s summer residents, and apparently without asking Lee’s permission filed for and received U.S. patent #794,777 in 1905. Bunnell manufactured hemlock plank “Westport chairs” for the next twenty years, painted in green or medium dark brown, and individually signed by him.

Modern Adirondack chairs usually feature a rounded back and contoured seat, modifications made by Irving Wolpin, who received U.S. patent #109239 for his design in 1938. Read more

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desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

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