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The world is filled with some inventions that people do not even consider during their daily tasks. These are things that have seemingly been around for ages but without which life might be a real pain. We take them for granted until the moment there are none and then we wonder how we ever survived without them. While it may sound a little silly, the chair falls into this category. Whether it be barstools, sofas, deck chairs, or just the lowly everyday chair; these simple inventions make life a lot more bearable than we may be aware of.

Many millennia ago when people still lived in caves and crude huts there was not thought of the chair to peoples’ minds. The ground was good enough and safety and food was more important that comfort. But at some point the leader of tribe decided that he or she should be a little more comfortable so they dragged along a nifty looking rock and sat on it. Not only did it raise him or her above the others, but it also meant that he or she did not have to sit in the dirt. While this little tale may be completely fanciful, it is not too far from the truth. The modern barstools, sofas, and other chair-like creations all come from the simple stone bench.

For a long time the ‘chair’ as we know it was made of stone. Sometimes carved, sometimes not. The Ancient Romans, Egyptians and Greeks used slabs of marble, granite, or other stone as chairs at their tables and in their public places. Along with the cold hard seats of these ancestors there were also chairs made of other materials. Wood, reeds, or other pliable and plentiful materials were used to make these constructions. Often these were thrones. Those that were not were often simple constructions that resemble low barstools.

It was not until the middle ages that upholstery and stuffing started entering the world of chairs. Up until know people used furs, cloth or simple cushions to soften the seating surface. With increased techniques regarding textiles, weaving, and manufacture, chairs were created that were upholstered, stuffed – but most importantly – soft to sit on. Seems like a simple thing to us that are used to it, but to our ancestors it was a great invention. The chair changed shape a lot in the ensuing years and brought us the many different chairs that we know today from sofas to barstools and more.

While various designers made various forays into changing the look of the chair on the whole, the basic design has stayed the same for the most part. In fact the chair has become a wide section that describes innumerable different objects that all have the purpose of allowing people to sit on them. Whether they are barstools, sofas, dinging chairs, deck chairs, tripods, or any other chair that you can think of; people use them everyday. So the next time you rest your weary legs on a handy bench consider the history of one of humanities oldest inventions.

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