Where was the Adirondack Chair invented?
Westport NY resident, Thomas Lee invented a porch chair to house his large group of guest, friends and relatives. He used one plank of hemlock to design a chair with a slanted back and wide arm rests to
hold drinks and food.
Though invented by Thomas Lee, it was Harry C. Bunnell a local Westport NY woodworker that began producing the chairs at his Westport shop.
Bunnell received a patent July 18, 1905 with the "object of this invention is a chair of the bungalow type adapted for use on porches, lawns, at camps and also adapted to be converted into an invalid's chair. "
The major difference between the modern Adirondack Chair and the Westport Chair is the Adirondack Chair has a slated back while the Westport Chair uses one piece of wood.
Note of interest: Bunnell's original patent was adapted for the use of invalids,
"To convert the chair into one adapted for the use of invalids, I provide a base-board "H," having beveled side edges and which may be inserted in the compartment below the seat, as shown in Fig, 2, and by raising the hinged section D' of the seat D a supplemental section D2 may be inserted, as also shown in Fig. 2, which section is provided with the circular opening D3. The board H serves as a support for a vessel or receptacle of any desired kind."
It would convert to the Adirondack "potty" chair.
© Diane Chase, author of Adirondack Family Time: Tri-Lakes and High Peaks (Your Four-Season Guide to Over 300 Activities) available online or bookstores/museums July 2011. Diane is currently working on the second guidebook in the proposed four book series of Adirondack Family Activities.