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Don’t you just love old chippy metal lawn chairs? They just ooze with memories of days gone by and represent a host of story telling sessions. This past week, I was the happy recipient of two old chairs – a piece of local history that had served well and still offered an invitation to come sit a spell!
What are your memories of these sturdy pieces of furniture, often call “motel chairs” as they dotted the front lawns of motels across America.
This post in Arizona Rt 66 says, “Get your kitsch on Route 66. No spot along Arizona’s Route 66 has more kitsch per inch than Seligman.” And in the midst of all the kitsch are these fabulous metal lawn chairs. All brightened up to function for decades to come.
Local Living in Walla Walla newspaper wrote, “I acquired a flock of metal lawn chairs last weekend. Thursday, I hosed and scrubbed the dust and dirt off of them. Then I set them on the front dock of Shady Lawn Antiques to dry…Later that day I looked at them from a different angle… I could almost see a bunch of old-timers sitting in the chairs and telling stories.”
Of course, you don’t have to be an “old-timer” to sit in one of these surprisingly comfortable metal chairs and share some conversation or just simply rest. But, their history is quite interesting.
“It was after World War II that Ed Warmack, an Arkansas manufacturer and sheet metal fabricator, began making steel lawn furniture for the postwar families and new houses with backyards springing up throughout the country. Demand increased for metal lawn chairs, gliders, matching steel lawn tables and swivel-based platform rockers. The company soon became the biggest steel lawn furniture manufacturer in the U.S. Some lines were designed exclusively for Sears.” writes About Home. “In 1954, Flanders Industries bought the metal lawn furniture company from Warmack and continued production until 1996.”
Today, you can also purchase a reproduction piece of these wonderful relics of furniture!
“In 2002, nostalgia-minded Louis and Kathy Torrans and their Torrans Manufacturing Company reintroduced the same collection of metal lawn furniture. They have the molds and tooling to produce several different styles of vintage-inspired chairs and gliders. Minor modifications have been made to improve upon Warmack’s classic designs, and the Torrans consider the chairs and other pieces to be “continuations and not reproductions or copies” of the originals. One change: Torrans Manufacturing Co.’s metal chairs are heavier and sturdier than the mid-century models.”
So, the invitation is still alive and well: Come sit a spell…in a vintage metal lawn chair!
Courtesy of Ellene Meece Grandma's Treasure Online