Past Forward

Activating The Henry Ford Archive of Innovation

Comfort on Display

January 29, 2016 Archive Insight

2015.78.2

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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