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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
Do you recognize this Vancouver beach?
Don’t the chairs look pretty sitting here?
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.
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!
Image sources credited beneath each photo.