Before the mid-19th Century, most businesses were family affairs with little thought given to the administration of them, but with the advent of transport in the mid-19th Century, businesses began to grow and so did the need to become more organised. As their orders grew they needed to take on more admin staff to do things like bookkeeping, stock ordering and correspondence. Along with this office technology started to become more sophisticated and staff needed to have a dedicated space to carry out their work and so, the office was born and this required more specific furniture, one of which was the office chair, the obvious benefit being it could keep staff at their desks for longer. Antique desk chairs were different from other chairs of this period because they were designed to swivel and could easily be moved around as they had castors, along with slatted backs and armrests to provide support.
It was actually Charles Darwin who was an early innovator of the office chair as he put wheels on his so he could get around to his specimens more quickly!
Campaign chairs and campaign furniture were made specifically so they could travel with their owner. They were designed to either break down or fold for ease of transport. Much of this furniture was created for the armies of the day as they would have to take them on their marches and traditionally made furniture would just be too heavy and cumbersome. Campaign furniture goes back to Roman times, but it is more commonly associated with British Army Officers, so your antique campaign chair may have seen service in India or South Africa.
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