Saturday, 5 September 2009

Deck Chairs

As promised - here are the pictures of the two deckchairs I got at Halesworth antiques fair. They are both interesting as they are slightly unusual. I have been trying to find out the origins of the deck chair and came accross some information in a book called 'Designing the Seaside' by Fred Gray.
Apparently it was when the seaside started to become a place of family leisure in the late 1800s that furniture began to appear. The deckchair was first used on Margate Beach in 1898. It originated from a canvas hammock chair and wood which had been produced as camp furniture for the British army in India. It had also been used on passenger ships ( hence the name 'deck'). They were cheap to produce, foldable, stackable, easily moved and ideal for the seaside and it soon became a symbol of seaside relaxation and rest. The early deckchairs were upright but in the middle of the 20th century they became more horizontal. By the 1940s Margate hired out 2.1 million chairs each season! Unfortunately towards the end of the 20th century the plastic sunlounger increased in popularity. I have a photo here of something that I would describe as a 'transitional' piece!

A 1970s retro sunlounger - these were used before the white plastic ones became popular. I feel these days people are moving away from the plastic furniture and are reverting to the more tradtional wood and canvas styles again. Hooray!


  1. I did'nt realise the history of the deck chair was so well documented. The top fabric is similar to the one my Nan has on her small garden chairs. The 70's one is great, I love the dark backgrounds you used to see with the bright daisies as if they are popping up from a forest floor. Very similar to dress fabric of that era.

  2. Hello, you have the most gorgeous site here and I had to leave this comment for you ! Your posts are lovely and you have interesting pictures. It's all perfect so thank you for sharing them all and best wishes....

  3. I'm still loving that deck chair! :) and how very interesting to read a little bit of history about it x