John Thomas Moore: Adjustable Folding Deck Chair

John Thomas Moore: Adjustable Folding Deck Chair

We’re finally rounding the corner on our weather… aren’t we? Soon we’ll be thinking BBQs and the beach.

And with that comes portable chairs like the deck chair.

Adjustable Folding Chair Design by John Thomas Moore

Source: Design Boom

That’s right. The John Thomas Moore adjustable folding chair.

British businessman, John Thomas Moore (1864-1929), took out a patent for adjustable folding chairs in 1886, though deck chairs can be traced as far back as the ancient Egyptians.

As you can see in the illustration above, the early version of the chairs were made of three wooden rectangles hinged together to form the folding frame. A rectangular piece of canvas in olive green was attached to the frame to form the seat and back support thus becoming the infamous deck chair.

You’ll often hear these iconic deck chairs referred to as the Brighton Beach Chair.

John Moore Deck Chairs on Brighton Beach
Brighton Beach, 1948

And that’s because as you see here, the chairs grew in popularity and became part of the tapestry of Britain’s Brighton Beach.

And as iconic as the chair itself, is the blue and white striped fabric that replaced the original mottled olive canvas.

Vintage Striped John Moore Deck Chairs

Source: Etsy – The Postcard Shop

Moore manufactured the deck chair in Macclesfield from 1887 onward, and by then they had become common place on transatlantic steamers. In fact, Moore supplied the Titanic with 600 deck chairs, of which only six survived the tragic sinking. Apparently, one of these was sold at auction in 2001 for £35,000 (approximately $44,000 CAD!!) and it is believed this chair had been used as a makeshift life raft!

Here you see the deck chairs on the Titanic.

John Moore Deck Chairs on Titanic

Source: Kottke (Francis Browne Photo)

Notice how their design is different from the original design, and includes a footrest?

And here you see a cane back variation of the original design, but with arms incorporated.

John Moore Deck Chair - Titanic Exhibit

Source: Trip Advisor

Since the 1940s the adjustable folding chair has made its way onto lawns, cricket pitches, tennis courts, patios and anywhere a portable comfy seat was needed, as you see in this photo.

John Moore Deck Chairs & The Beatles

Source: Meet the Beatles for Real Blog

Any idea who the gentlemen are in the background? 😉

Today you’ll find the iconic British deck chair still scatters the shores of Brighton Beach and beyond.

Deck Chairs on Brighton Beach

Source: Telegraph

And we are fortunate in the last few years to have a version of the British deck chair brought to our very own shores by Vancouver’s Gallant & Jones.

Blue & White Striped Deck Chair

Source: Gallant & Jones – Venice Beach Deck Chair

If you haven’t heard of this dynamic duo, you might want to read about them here.

The Gallant & Jones deck chair is handmade of North American White Oak or Black Walnut, and is available in a number of bright and bold weather resistant fabrics.

Here are a few examples…

Peach Patterned Deck Chair

Source: Gallant & Jones (Janis Nicolay Photo)

Do you recognize this Vancouver beach?

Don’t the chairs look pretty sitting here?

Multi-coloured Striped Deck Chairs

Source: Gallant & Jones (Janis Nicolay Photo)

They’re named from beaches and lakes throughout British Columbia and in Great Britain, and just to show you local examples of that…

Here you see the Kitsilano and Jericho deck chairs.

Gallant & Jones Striped Deck Chairs

Source: Gallant & Jones

I think these would be perfect around our new and improved BBQ area, don’t you? Especially once the plants are all potted up and in bloom.

From John Thomas Moore to Gallant & Jones… these deck chairs have come a long way, yet only gotten better with age!

How about you? Would you like a set of these chairs, too?

I really like the simple construction and lines of these deck chairs, and what I love about Gallant & Jones carrying on the legacy of John Moore’s design are the vibrant fabrics they use. But what I really appreciate is their environmentally conscious integrity around the construction of their deck chairs, and this: with every deck chair purchased a tree is donated and planted through the LOVE TREES PROGRAM. Gallant & Jones – environmentally responsible AND design savvy!

Thanks for stopping by!

Signature 100x47 b&w

Image sources credited beneath each photo.

12 thoughts on “John Thomas Moore: Adjustable Folding Deck Chair”

  • Love those chairs, we had two and one thing I found was that I kept pinching my finger every time I opened them up. I know, it was probably me and being a little gimpy. It’s the 100 year anniversary of the sinking of Titanic so that picture of the teak deck chairs is really cool. Have a great sunshiney day.

    • Tracey, you must have the most amazing ‘Ponderosa’ 😉 From the pics I’ve seen it’s no lie, but when I learn about the pieces you have I just know it is so. And now these chairs, too! Okay my friend, I’m coming over for a BBQ ’cause I need to try them out!

  • Wonder where my comment went, “anyway” yes they are really in fashion again, once you sit in them they are comfy but hard to get in and out and also cut of circulation in your legs, but I also like the fabric – niece and cheerful –
    the beach pictures make me sentimental, home sweet home

  • oh those chairs are iconic…such fun fabrics too!
    Thanks for all this info!
    Thanks too for dropping by & yor sweet comment!
    Love what you have done with your frame!

  • Hi Sheila,
    Thanks for writing about the iconic deck chair so well and for mentioning our humble offerings.
    The Deck Chair is such a great piece that we couldn’t help making our own version, and although it is not for everyone it has been around since the Egyptians for a reason 😉
    Footrests definitely help with the comfort factor and getting your legs up off the ground.
    Well, we love them and glad to hear you are also a fan!
    Many thanks again.
    Gwyn & Tamra

    • Hi Gwyn & Tamra,

      Thank you so much for taking the time to comment! What a nice surprise. It was a pleasure to feature your chairs – far from humble offerings! I love your chairs – the fabric choices, and the details in your designs… my problem is I want them all!

      I appreciate that you dropped by!

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