When Was the Adirondack Chair Invented?

16 minutes read

The Adirondack chair, also known as a Westport plank chair, is a distinctive type of outdoor lounge chair that is widely recognized for its slanted backrest, low seat, and wide armrests. This enduring and iconic piece of furniture was invented at the turn of the 20th century by Thomas Lee, a vacationer from Westport, New York.


It is said that Lee was searching for a comfortable outdoor chair for his summer home located within the Adirondack Mountains region. However, he couldn't find any suitable options that met his requirements. Determined to create the perfect chair, Lee began experimenting in his workshop.


In 1903, Lee finalized his design for what would become known as the Adirondack chair. He constructed the chair using a single piece of board, which formed the backrest and seat, and named it the "Westport plank chair" after the town where he resided. The chair featured a slanted backrest, which provided excellent comfort and support for lounging outdoors.


Although initially made with eleven flat wooden boards, Lee later refined the design to offer greater comfort and durability. He added armrests that were wide enough to accommodate beverages or small items. The chair was also designed to be low to the ground, allowing users to stretch out their legs comfortably.


While Lee patented his design, he found that he couldn't effectively commercialize his creation. However, fate stepped in when Lee's friend and carpenter, Harry C. Bunnell, recognized the potential of the Adirondack chair. Bunnell saw an opportunity and obtained a patent for the design himself without Lee's knowledge, launching the chair into widespread popularity.


From the early 1900s onwards, the Adirondack chair gained immense popularity, becoming a staple in outdoor furniture collections around the world. Its simple yet elegant design, combined with unparalleled comfort, contributed to its widespread adoption. Over the years, various modifications and adaptations of the original design have emerged, but the fundamental features have remained consistent.


Today, the Adirondack chair continues to be a beloved and classic piece of outdoor furniture that symbolizes relaxation, leisure, and outdoor living. Its timeless charm and functional design ensure that it remains a popular choice for patios, decks, gardens, and other outdoor spaces.

Best Adirondack Chairs of April 2024

1
SERWALL Adirondack Chair for Patio Garden Outdoors Fire Pit- (Folding Gray)

Rating is 5 out of 5

SERWALL Adirondack Chair for Patio Garden Outdoors Fire Pit- (Folding Gray)

  • FOLDING DESIGN – Are you still struggling with the size of Adirondack Chair? This Adirondack chair can be stored away easily. Buy SERWALL folding adirondack chairs to make more room for your home! Buy SERWALL outdoor table to match the chair(ASIN:B09M6H2DVX). Buy SERWALL Ottoman: (ASIN:B0BLXN44CM).
  • WHY CHOOSE SERWALL? Material of SERWALL- HIPS: High Impact Polystyrene (Poly Lumber), looks and feels like real wood, composite, weather resistant, low maintenance, more durable than wood, surface is smoother than HDPE material. 22 inch armrest width and 380 lbs load capacity can make anyone of any body type feel really comfortable.
  • PRODUCT DIMENSIONS: 32.9"D x 29.4"W x 35.8"H, The seat width of the SERWALL Classic Adirondack Chair is 2 inches wider than the average chair in the market, the Outdoor Adirondack Chair is the perfect companion for chaise lounge rocking chairs and outdoor patio furniture.
  • WEATHER RESISTANT AND FADE-PROOF: SERWALL Adiorndack Chair adopt new Color retaining technology, made of high-quality, HIPS materials, this chair is built to withstand the elements for long-lasting durability won't fade, splinter, crack, chip, peel, or rot when exposed to the elements.
  • EASY TO ASSEMBLE: Partial assembly required, hassle free. Just tighten the screws and splice parts according to the instructions, with 6 pieces, 5 steps, 15 minutes, you can own a durable folding Adirondack chair.
  • GUARANTEE: We want our customers to be 100% happy and satisfied with SERWALL Adirondack Chair - You can always come to us for any product issue and product care at our Amazon store, we are committed to satisfying our customers.
  • CLASSIC DESIGN: Classic and versatile appearance, making this chair perfect for your home or garden.
  • STRENGTH AND DURABILITY: The HIPS material- Toughness is about four times higher than ordinary PS, with better impact strength. The melting temperature of PS is 150 ~ 180°C. SERWALL composite Adirondack chair is subject to a variety of climate changes including strong wind, sun exposure.
  • SLATTED DESIGN: Slatted backrest and seat sheds rainwater and dries quickly, spacious armrests for comfortable sitting experience. Ergonomic structure with curved backrest brings for you more comfortable seating experience.
  • COMFORTABLE SEAT: Large seat, tall backrest, and wide armrests make it a seating solution built for rest, relaxation, and rejuvenation. SERWALL Chair is free of burrs to prevent stabbing of the skin. And the exquisite connection between panels is firmly fixed by the screws to ensure that it won’t easily wobble or fall apart.
2
Modern Adirondack Chair Wood Texture, Poly Lumber Patio Chairs, Pre-Assembled Weather Resistant Outdoor Chairs for Pool, Deck, Backyard, Garden, Fire Pit Seating, Black

Rating is 5 out of 5

Modern Adirondack Chair Wood Texture, Poly Lumber Patio Chairs, Pre-Assembled Weather Resistant Outdoor Chairs for Pool, Deck, Backyard, Garden, Fire Pit Seating, Black

  • Durable Material: POLYDUN Adirondack chair is made of high-density Polystyrene(Poly Lumber) and marine-grade stainless steel hardware, strong and durable, can withstand all kinds of harsh weather. 22.64 inch armrest width and 385 lbs maximum load capacity suitable for any body type. suitable for any body type.
  • Ergonomically Design: The adirondack chair is ergonomically designed, the curved seat front and high backrest effectively release spinal pressure and relieve fatigue; 103°elevation design makes sitting more comfortable; 4.63" wide armrests are enough to place your belongings such as your daily drinking cup and phone.
  • Weather Resistant & Fade-Resistant: Looks and feels like real wood but unlike wooden furniture, POLYDUN adirondack chairs will not fade, crack, warp, rust or rot when exposed to the elements. Composite, weather resistant, low maintenance, more durable than wood.
  • Easy to Assemble: Detailed installation instructions, the pre-assembled contoured seat, and backrest make assembly very easy and fast, get a beautiful chair in just 15 minutes, saving you even more time.
  • Easy to clean:You can use a towel dipped in water or soapy water to scrub directly If accidentally soiled, you can use the included sandpaper to gently wipe away stains or scratches if there are stubborn stains or accidental scratches. Normal cleaning and maintenance will not cause damage to the product.
3
WestinTrends Outdoor Adirondack Chair, Plastic Fire Pit Chair, Weather Resistant Folding Patio Lawn Chair for Outside Deck Garden Backyard Balcony, Orange

Rating is 4.8 out of 5

WestinTrends Outdoor Adirondack Chair, Plastic Fire Pit Chair, Weather Resistant Folding Patio Lawn Chair for Outside Deck Garden Backyard Balcony, Orange

  • Better than wood: Our plastic adirondack chairs are made of high-density polyethylene (poly lumber) material, which is stronger and durable than wood. Look and feel like real wood, composite, weather-proof, easy to maintenance.
  • Foldable and Stackable: Our folding Adirondack chairs can be easily folded and carried. Conveniently folds flat by removing two pins for easy transportation and storage. And you can take this patio chair out camping or fold it for storage when not in use to save more space on your patio.
  • Water and Heat Resistant: It can withstand the environment of hot sun, heavy snow, salt spray and strong coastal wind. With strong resistance to wind and rain, and better color fastness, it is easy to clean and has low maintenance cost.
  • Comfortable Seat: The curved and lengthened chair back effectively release spinal pressure and relieve fatigue. 103 degree elevation allows sitting design deeper, which easily fit for adults, tall and obese people More comfortable when sitting. The armrests are wide enough to place commonly used style cups and plates.
  • Installation and Warranty: This outdoor folding chair comes with detailed installation instructions. You only need 5 steps to assemble 9 parts into a sturdy and comfortable adirondack chair in 15 minutes. Our chair comes with 2 year warranty and our customer service team will render you a solution within 24 hours.
4
Cecarol Normal Size Adirondack Chair, Poly Lumber Comfortable Patio Fire Pit Chair with 2 Cup Holder, 385lbs Capacity, All Weather Resistant and Durable Chair for Indoor, Outdoor, Garden, Coffee-AC01S

Rating is 4.9 out of 5

Cecarol Normal Size Adirondack Chair, Poly Lumber Comfortable Patio Fire Pit Chair with 2 Cup Holder, 385lbs Capacity, All Weather Resistant and Durable Chair for Indoor, Outdoor, Garden, Coffee-AC01S

  • 【Warm Reminder】Thank you for browsing our products. We redesigned the brand LOGO again (with a small roof design on the top), hoping that the product can bring you a casual, fashion and comfortable outdoor and home living experience. The videos on the current website all use the new LOGO to display the products, and our first batch of products use the old LOGO, only the pure English letters “Cecarol”. We hope you can know the design differences of the brand LOGO before purchasing. And if you have any question, please feel free to write us on Amazon, We will solve it for you as soon as possible.
  • 【Comfortable Curved Back Design】The concave and round backrest fits the body better. The high backrest supports the head and relax the cervical spine. Widened armrests are better for arm relaxation. The exclusive large circle design at the front end of the seat plate does not rest the legs, making the ride more comfortable.
  • 【Durable Material and Weather Resistant】Made of high-density polystyrene, which looks like wood, it is actually stronger and more corrosion-resistant than wood, and can bear a weight of 385 pounds. It is very suitable to withstand outdoor weather, including rain, snow, sunlight, sea breeze, and will not crack and fade.
  • 【Convenient Cup Holder and Glass Wine Holder】The cup holder is designed with a swing type, which can be hidden under the armrest when not in use, just pull it out when you want to use it. You can place cups or other small objects within reach.
  • 【Easy to Assemble】Embedded nuts make the installation easier and firmly fix the chair with the bolts. The product structure is simple and practical, and it can be easily operated according to the provided manual or installation video.
  • 【Easy to Clean and Maintain】You can use a towel dipped in water or soapy water to scrub directly If it is accidentally dirty, if there are stubborn stains or accidental scratches, you can use the provided sandpaper to gently wipe the stains or scratches. Normal cleaning and maintenance will not cause damage to the product.
  • 【After-sales Service】Please Note: Each chair is shipped separately, the arrival time may differ. And if there are shipping damage or other issue, can you give us a chance to solve your problem? you can write us on Amazon at anytime, we will provide you with a solution on the same day.
5
Outsunny Adirondack Chair with Cup Holder, All Weather Patio Chair HDPE Lounger, Fire Pit Seating High Back and Wide Seat for Outdoor, Backyard, Garden, Deck, Lawn, White

Rating is 4.8 out of 5

Outsunny Adirondack Chair with Cup Holder, All Weather Patio Chair HDPE Lounger, Fire Pit Seating High Back and Wide Seat for Outdoor, Backyard, Garden, Deck, Lawn, White

  • Plenty Of Room to Relax: These all-weather Adirondack chairs have a broad base that gives plenty of room for people of all shapes and sizes to sit down and be comfortable. Easily keep it clean by scrubbing its surface with soap, water, and a rag or brush.
  • Comfortable Adirondack: Constructed for comfort, this rustic Adirondack chair was built with high-rise tilted back support, a sloped seat, and two wide-and-comfortable armrests to take weight off of what's sore.
  • Cup Holder: Our Adirondack chair comes with cup holders in the armrest; bring your favorite drink to the backyard and relax when you conveniently keep your cup in your fire pit chair.
  • Durable Consturction: Our Adirondack chairs are made of waterproof HDPE, a material selected to not splinter, crack, chip, or peel. Approximately 30,000 milk jugs per hour are reprocess into HDPE all-weather lumber.
  • Deck Chair Info: Overall Dimensions: 29.5" W x 34.25" D x 35.5" H. Weight capacity: 330 lbs.


Were any patents filed for the Adirondack chair design?

Yes, several patents have been filed for various designs and improvements of the Adirondack chair over the years. The original patent for an outdoor chair similar to the Adirondack design was granted to Thomas Lee in 1904. Since then, multiple inventors and creators have filed patents for different versions and modifications of the chair. It's important to note that some elements of the Adirondack chair design, such as the slanted seat and backrest, may have become part of the public domain over time due to expiration of patents or lack of enforcement.


Where was the first Adirondack chair made?

The first Adirondack chair was made in Westport, New York, in the early 1900s. Thomas Lee, a resident of Westport, designed the chair and sought the help of his friend, Harry Bunnell, a local carpenter, to construct the prototype. Bunnell eventually patented the design and began manufacturing the chairs, which became popular throughout the Adirondack region and beyond.


Has the design of Adirondack chairs influenced other types of outdoor furniture?

Yes, the design of Adirondack chairs has indeed influenced other types of outdoor furniture. The Adirondack chair, also known as the Westport plank chair, was originally designed in the early 20th century for use in the Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York. Its distinctive features, such as the slanted backrest, wide armrests, and contoured seat, have made it not only a comfortable seating option but also an iconic piece of outdoor furniture.


The popularity and success of Adirondack chairs have led to the development of various other outdoor furniture designs that draw inspiration from its aesthetic and functionality. These designs often incorporate similar features such as wide armrests, deep seats, and angled backrests, which promote relaxation and comfort.


Based on the influence of Adirondack chairs, there are now Adirondack-style benches, rockers, loungers, and dining sets available in various materials like wood, plastic, and metal. The design has also influenced the creation of other outdoor furniture items like ottomans, side tables, and even Adirondack-inspired swings.


Overall, the timeless design of Adirondack chairs has had a significant impact on the outdoor furniture industry, inspiring the creation of numerous other pieces that combine style and practicality for outdoor relaxation.

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