Sepia Saturday challenges bloggers to share family history through old photographs.
This week’s Sepia Saturday photo of a well-dressed couple camping prompted me to take a second look at the lowly folding chair. In particular, I remembered this one:
The woman is unknown, possibly one of my maternal grandmother’s cousins. It doesn’t matter. The point is the CHAIR. Much like the one in the prompt photo, it was wood with a canvas seat and back. Today such chairs are known as “Director’s Chairs.” Of course! In every movie about the making of a movie, the director is sitting in a chair with canvas seat and back.
I suppose lots of people fussed and complained about those wooden chairs getting loose and wobbly over time. Then the canvas wore out or ripped from dry rot. Enter Fredric Arnold. In 1947 he saved the day with his invention of an aluminum folding chair with fabric strapping for the seat and back. For years that chair has been the mainstay in most households across America.
Sunday picnics, family reunions, graduation parties, birthdays – if it is outside, there is a folding chair involved.
|Leota Sullivan Racy, Grandma Lucille Rucker Davis, |
Pearl Sullivan Strole, Floral Sullivan Merica, and Elta Sullivan Farrar
In the mid-1960s, the Sullivan cousins came to town and gathered for a cook-out at the home of their sister Elta Farrar. Such an occasion called for LOTS of folding chairs.
About that same time, our family hosted SOMETHING in the backyard but I do not know what. We must have expected a crowd because my dad brought over the more substantial porch furniture from my grandmother’s house next door.
|What a nice collection of classic aluminum chairs|
with green and white webbing!
Our backyard on Gillis Rd, Portsmouth, VA
There's my grandmother and my sister.
Momma has her back to us.
|Me in my Dorothy Hamill haircut|
and Jordan just growing hers
The folding chair may not be as charming as the wicker chair
|Grandaunt Helen Killeen holding her nephew John Holland|
Left and right: my grandmother Julia Walsh and
Mae Killeen Holland
or as comfortable as the Adirondack,
|Steve and Cat Barany|
at their home in Washington DC
but folding chairs have demonstrated their staying power when it comes to outdoor living.
Thank-you, Fredric Arnold!
Grab a chair and enjoy more fun reads at Sepia Saturday.
© 2017, Wendy Mathias. All rights reserved.