If you’ve visited the Fully Furnished exhibit in Henry Ford Museum in the last month or two, you might have noticed a new and perhaps surprisingly humble addition to the rest of the furniture. The distinctive burnt-orange-and-plaid 1961 chair (shown here) represents the first La-Z-Boy product to feature both a built-in ottoman and rocking functionality. The chair was just one of a number of chairs, other artifacts, and corporate archives donated to The Henry Ford Archive of American Innovation™ by La-Z-Boy in 2015, which in their totality tell compelling stories about the iterative development of comfortable seating, as well as product sales and marketing. Visit our online collections to peruse a number of these just-digitized materials, including (in addition to the chair on display) a telephone stand designed in 1928, a 1929 recliner, and “Jake,” a life-size mannequin used in testing ergonomics in the early 1980s.
Ellice Engdahl is Digital Collections & Content Manager at The Henry Ford.
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