The Adirondack Chair


In the very early 20th century, Thomas Lee of the small village of Westport, New York in the Adirondack Mountains, designed a comfortable new chair, with a slanted back, a slanted seat, and broad armrests. The concept of slanted backs and seats was not new to
the mountainous area, as they were then already common innovations devised to make it easy and comfortable to sit on a slopped hillside.

Mr. Lee had a fried who owned a nearby carpenter shop, one Harry Burrell. Lee showed Burrell his chair, and Burrell saw a marketable product, and obtained a patent on what was first called the "Westport" chair. Burrell's chairs were constructed from hemlock or basswood, both readily available in the northeast US, and generally painted green or dark red brown.

Burrell's chairs eventually evolved into the immensely popular "Adirondack" chair”, as well as Adirondack rockers, Adirondack
benches, and additional variations. Many style variations exist, but still today the sine quo non of the Adirondack chair is a raked slanted back along wich large broad armrests.

From Thomas Lee's first chair built in the idyllic mountains of upstate New York, the popularity of the Adirondack chair spread across the county, and today, more than a hundred years later, it represents not only innovation and comfort, but the concept of a restful, easy-going summer afternoon, lounging in the back yard.


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