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Who Invented The Swivel Chair? Top Full Guide 2022

Have you ever wondered about Who invented the swivel chair? or its history?

In this post, Focal Upright will provide full information about the origin of the swivel chair.

History of The Swivel Chair

The Swivel Chair

In 1775, Thomas Jefferson was a busy man. He was 33 years old when he joined the Committee of Five men. It was at this age that he was charged with the drafting of the Declaration of Independence, which would be presented to Congress in the Summer following. According to all accounts, Jefferson was a self-contained and self-sufficient man, and, like many great men, he had many contradictions.

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In 2005, Christopher Hitchens described Jefferson as a revolutionary who above all believed that order was possible’. Hitchens also described Jefferson as a pioneer in what we now call well-being. This is because Jefferson believed, unlike Hitchens, that a true philosopher should spend as much time exercising and working as he did reading and writing. He should imitate the harmony and balance of nature. He must be cautious about what he puts into his system. This is why it’s not surprising that Jefferson took the time to invent the swivel chair, despite his life-altering work.

The Windsor chair was the only choice of Thomas Jefferson for seating until that point.

You may have seen a Windsor at Antiques Roadshow. If so, here are the facts:

Windsor chairs in English style have a solid wood seat and are carved with a shallow dish or saddle shape to provide comfort.

The chair’s back and legs are “round tenoned“.

Round tenon, a woodworking technique that attaches individual pieces to each other by creating a nub on one piece, is something you should know. The piece is then placed into the hole in the opposite piece and connected securely.

This is how the Windsor chair’s back and legs were attached to the Windsor seat. What is missing from a traditional Windsor Windsor? It’s obvious Mobility.

The Windsor Chairs didn’t provide enough movement.

A Symbol Of Privilege

It is remarkable that one of the greatest foundational documents in human liberty history was written by someone who sat in a chair. Not to mention the inspiration for one of history’s most beloved chair styles.

This is because sitting is a very modern activity for most people.

In the past, a person could only take a seat if they were in power. This is why the throne is the great-grandparent to every type of chair, even the swivel.

In ancient Egypt, the earliest images of rulers sitting in chairs (called “representative seating”) date back to ancient Egypt. Up to the Middle Ages, sitting down was a sign of power and privilege for both the religious and secular ruling classes.

The popularity of the chair grew in the 16th century with the rise of “seated professions”, such as lawyers, merchants, and bookkeepers.

Financial ledgers were long back then and often spread across several tables. Another important moment in the history of chair design was the invention of wheels. These were usually casters, but they did not offer a smooth ride.

These chairs are far less comfortable than modern swivel chairs.

This brings us back to Windsor chair, which was also created around the same time.

The Windsor chair did not have wheels and was very uncomfortable. The Windsor chair offered little movement. This doesn’t seem like the best way of writing something as important and significant as the Declaration of Independence.

Thomas Jefferson, a skilled cabinet maker, saw this too and decided to take action. Jefferson had been trying to find a way to make the Windsor more comfortable and mobile since 1774. Jefferson was visiting Philadelphia in 1774. It was time for action.

Who Invented The Swivel Chair?

Who Invented The Swivel Chair?

A swivel chair (or a revolving chair) has a single central leg which allows the seat to turn 360 degrees.

Thomas Jefferson invented the first swivel chair. He modified the Windsor to include top and bottom parts that were connected by a central iron spindle. This allowed full rotation with rollers from sash windows pulleys.

Jefferson also made modifications to his original swivel chair.

Bamboo can be used to replace the legs.

Add a writing surface or “writing paddle” to one arm of the swivel chair.

Jefferson was so infatuated with his invention that he brought it back home to Monticello in Virginia in 1776. The American Philosophical Society of Philadelphia has had Jefferson’s swivel chair since 1836.

The evolution of the chair was further influenced by Jefferson’s work rhythms, which led to the creation of the “proper” swivel chair.

He was not only the inventor of the swivel chair but also an early pioneer in what we can call a tablet or laptop. He used a portable lap desk to prepare the Declaration of Independence. The writing surface was made of mahogany and had a draw-in for paper, pen, ink, and pens. It was about the same size as an early laptop and Jefferson used it almost every day.

The Rise of Office Work

The swivel has seen more changes with the advent of office work. In the 19th century, offices were organized according to the principle of Taylorism. This emphasized the need to do all tasks in a systematic and efficient manner while keeping all the necessary tools close by.

The typewriter revolutionized work in the late 19th and middle of the 20th centuries. The typewriter revolutionized work and made sitting a priority in the office. These were the characteristics of office chairs in this era:

  • Minimum 3 feet
  • Height-adjustable wooden seat
  • Vertical backrest

Although the backrests in this era were somewhat flexible, they didn’t offer much support. This made it uncomfortable to sit down at work and caused a lot of back problems and bad posture.

Engineers, scientists, and designers started to look closely at the office chair in the 1950s and developed the concept of ergonomics, which continues to influence how we work today.


That’s all about information about the swivel chair. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.

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