History of the Office Chair

Tuesday, November 8th, 2016

Recently we realized that even if Rubbish Begone have disposed of infinite amounts of chairs, desks, tables and other furniture, we don’t know much of their history. Apart from the regular furniture removal which Rubbish Begone,waste removal London does, we want to give you a valuable information about the history of the office chair which is useful and the knowledge obtained might also improve your health.

Everyone has to sit down in an office chair in some moment of their life. Workaholics sometimes have to stand up from theirs, which they don’t enjoy, at all. Since the most of us do not work from bed, a comfortable modern office chair is essential to our body’s health and structure. It, the modern office chair, went through many changes and tiny adjustments to become the thing that either saves or breaks us today.

How it Started


CC0 Public Domain

The story began nearly two centuries ago. One of the earliest known innovators of the office chair was Charles Darwin. Yes, him. He was the fist one who thought of putting wheels on the feet of his chair, a bizarre idea in 1840, we guess. Of course, he did not intended to contribute to the evolution of chairs, but to get more quickly to his specimens he studied. This mobile chair was known as a “wooden armchair on wheels”.

Thomas E. Warren's Invention

“Wolfsonian FIU Museum” by Daderot, CC0 Public Domain

Another person who played his part in the evolution of office chairs is Otto von Bismark. He distributed many of them throughout parliament while he was in office, which made the office chairs popular and desirable.

The Centripetal Spring Armchair invented in 1849 by Thomas E. Warren was one of the first modern office chairs. The American inventor made it from cast iron, vanished steel and with velvet upholstery.

Evolution through higher demand

With the existence of rail transportation in 19th century, businesses started to expand, employ more people which inevitably resulted in more administrative work. The office work was steaming, and there was a strong demand for technology, office equipment and of improving the working environment. Of course, the purpose of the early chairs was to make employees more productive and save the energy they would otherwise spend by standing.

The Ergonomics Era

Office furniture - modern chair

CC0 Public Domain

The invention of ergonomics happened in around 1970. The Ergon chair was invented in 1976 and it was the very first chair made with the actual idea of sustaining the physical health and improve the comfort of the average office worker. This chair had something none other had – one could make adjustments to its size and get a comfortable spine support.

Now, we know that ergonomics wasn’t born at the same time with the chair. The modern office chair we take for granted went a long run to become the chair we see and sit on today.