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10th November 2015

History and Funny Facts about the Deckchair

In England, John Thomas Moore (1864-1929) took out a patent for adjustable and portable folding chairs in 1886, and started manufacturing them in Macclesfield. Moore made two types: the Waverley, described as "the best ship or lawn tennis chair", and the Hygienic, which was a rocking chair "valuable for those with sluggish and constipated bowels". Early versions of the deck chair were made of two rectangular wooden frames hinged together, with a third rectangle to maintain it upright. A rectangular piece of canvas was attached to two of the wooden rectangles to provide a seat and support. The use of a single broad strip of canvas originally olive green in colour but later usually of brightly coloured stripes. The classic deckchair can only be locked in one position. Later, the strips of wood going toward the back were lengthened and equipped with supports so that there were several possible sitting positions in the typical style we see today. The hiring out of deckchairs, on an hourly or daily basis, became established in British seaside resorts, often for use on piers and promenades, in the early 20th century. They were also often used in large public parks such as Hyde Park and for spectators at informal sporting events such as local cricket matches. With the widespread availability of lighter and even more portable forms of seating later in the century, the use of deckchairs declined. In one of the largest English resorts, Blackpool 68,000 deckchairs were rented out in 2003, at £1.50 a day, but tourism officers suggested that they should be phased out, except on the piers themselves, because they were a reminder of the era of “cloth caps”, and had "had their time in the 50s and 60s". Fortunately for the deckchair it is still going strong. Now in 2015 the deckchair is back on people’s wish list, with new designs such as the Wideboy which is perfect for two people to cuddle up in, it makes a great wedding gift. The Edwardian with the foot rest and canopy has a ring of nostalgia about it. Perfect for lazy days on the lawn. Have a look at our other designs on the website, from little child’s deckchairs to accessories all in fabulous fabrics of your choice.