Caboose chairs have a unique place in the history of American furniture. First designed and built in the late 1800s, caboose chairs got their name because they were specifically made for railroad passengers cars. Because they were made for moving trains, caboose chairs had to be wide, heavy and sturdy. Soon, the popularity of the caboose chair caused it to expand its use and was soon seen in Western homes, hotels and drinking establishments. Along the way, several variations of caboose chairs were developed.
Railroad Caboose Chair
The Railroad caboose chair was the original chair made in approximately 1880. It was made of a variety of woods including pine, oak and mahogany. Depending on the type of railroad car the chair was destined for, the chair was dressed up or down. The Railroad caboose chair was the heaviest of all caboose chairs, weighing in at as much as 25 lbs.
The Saloon Caboose Chair
The type of caboose chair known as the Saloon caboose chair was used for, not surprisingly, saloons. The Saloon caboose chair was typically made of durable oak, and generally stood about 30 inches tall, 20 inches wide and weighed about 20 lbs. To see an example of a Saloon caboose chair, watch just about any Western period movie or television show with a saloon scene.
Swivel Caboose Chair
As caboose chairs grew in popularity, their role from railroad seating grew to include office settings. Town sheriffs, merchants and telegraph operators needed a chair in which they could have more mobility. So the Swivel caboose chair was designed and featured heavy arms, caster wheels and a base that could turn.
- Photo Credit chair image by hazel proudlove from Fotolia.com
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