For centuries, furniture has been one of the most important design elements in any home. It provides us with a place to eat, socialize, and relax. Yet few people would ever imagine how many different pieces or people were involved in furnishing the world’s homes with hartford craigslist furniture by owner. And while it may be difficult to think of a time when there weren’t any chairs or dining tables at all, some examples show that this once was the case — and not just on a small scale!
In this post we’re going to explore 7 surprising facts about the invention of furniture; why so many experts agree that it first appeared around 16th century Milan; who invented cane seats; and why so many pieces changed following WWII.
1. The invention of furniture was the result of many different people, not just one.
The first pieces of furniture were truly an invention that took a team to achieve; however, the first person to receive credit for it was Francesco Grimaldi. Around 1545 he was noted as the “Cane Maker” in Milan, Italy. More than a century later, the first public exhibition of the improvements that had been made by Grimaldi and other people was held in 1691.
2. Furniture didn’t always take on the same form.
While the first pieces of furniture were made out of wood, there was no standard size or shape. Pieces like bed frames and tables were often built to fit the space that they would eventually be placed in, which is why there are also surviving examples from as far back as Ancient Rome. In the late 15th century, Venetian merchants were traveling through Egypt and Turkey in search of cane seats and other pieces to popularize among wealthy people. However, these were probably not designed as furniture pieces — instead they were used for religious ceremonies and thus weren’t often displayed at home.
3. The seat was first used for religious purposes by the people of India . . .
The earliest pieces of furniture were designed to help people during religious ceremonies. According to ancient texts, the people of India and other southeast Asian countries developed chairs out of basketry so they could sit while meditating. In the early 20th century, one of the first pieces of furniture to be mass-produced was the Indian bed. Although in Victorian times it was still made out of wool, today it is made from cotton and cotton blends.
4. . . . And then later by Americans during the 19th century.
It didn’t take long for Americans to catch on to the trend started by the Indians. They were first used as seating options in New England and were especially popular among farmers who needed something that was easy to move around. In India, cane seats were apparently used as seats for prayer. A replica of this piece can be seen at the South Carolina Colonial Museum in Charleston and is actually still used as a chair for worship today.
5. Furniture can be traced back to prehistoric times.
Some of the first pieces of furniture were actually created by prehistoric people. The pictures below are believed to have been carved during the Paleolithic period. The first furniture pieces were actually made of stone, bone, and clay. Back in this era, it was used as a stool or a table where people would gather to eat. Wooden furniture didn’t appear until nearly 8,000 years later and was the result of many different people living in Europe.
6. And up until the 20th century furniture was made by hand
Furniture pieces were originally made by families and craftsmen who would make them in their free time. Some of the more common ones used in Europe were bread boards, butcher’s blocks, and trestle tables. One of the most interesting aspects about the history of furniture is that for centuries it wasn’t an industry dominated by machinery — instead most pieces were made and designed by hand. For example, weavers in the Middle Ages were often involved in the process.
7. But it was drastically changed by industrialization and power tools.
In the 19th century, many people came together to bring about a mass production of furniture made out of plastic and metal — not just cane seats. It was also during this time when handcrafted pieces were replaced with mass-produced furniture that had been manufactured from aluminum, steel, or plastic. The first prototypes of sofas were created slightly earlier by two men: Egon Reiner and Alois Rohr — they were made out of rattan and wood veneers; however, these failed due to poor quality.
In today’s society, furniture serves many different purposes other than simply making a place to sit. It can add both style and personality to a room, while also increasing the overall comfort. Although some of these facts are surprising, it’s important to realize how much is still left to discover about the history of furniture. The development of home furnishings has been a long and intricate process — from the first primitive wooden chairs to comfortable cushions and best of all, the ability to sit comfortably.