Jefferson and the invention of the Swivel Chair

imagesimages-2images-1

My sister and I were watching Downton Abbey last night and a reference was made about Thomas Jefferson inventing the swivel chair by the Dowager Countess. I googled it and sure enough…

That’s right, that office staple of today was invented by the US’s third president. Jefferson bought an English-style Windsor chair (the ones where the legs and the back are put into drilled holes) from a Philadelphia cabinet maker. He then modified it so that the top and bottom parts were connected by a central iron spindle-enabling the top half known as the seat, to swivel on casters of the type used in rope hung windows. And thus the first swivel chair was born.When the Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia, Jefferson’s swivel chair is purported to be where he drafted the United States Declaration of Independence in 1776. Jefferson later had the swivel chair sent to his Virginia plantation, Monticello, where he later built a “writing paddle” onto its side in 1791. Since 1836, the chair has been in the possession of the American Philosophical Society located in Philadelphia.

One thought on “Jefferson and the invention of the Swivel Chair

  1. this is very interesting. he was such a unique man. I would definitely put Jefferson in my 10 list of historical figures I wish I could meet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s