Bringing Back The Rocking Chair

A Farmer Reading His Paper. Photographed by Ge...

A Farmer Reading His Paper. Photographed by George W. Ackerman, Coryell County, Texas, September 1931. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Chairs come in many forms. In your home, you are likely to have settees and armchairs, dining chairs and perhaps patio furniture outside. You may also have an office chair of some description and perhaps some stools at a breakfast bar or something like that. Different forms of seating offer differing levels of comfort and formality, but there is one classic chair which isn’t seen all that much these days – the rocking chair.


In its basic form, the rocking chair is something of a design classic. It is a simple, straightforward concept that offers something no other chair does. The relaxed motion you get with a rocking chair cannot be found anywhere else and for that reason, they will always retain a degree of popularity with some people.


But why don’t we see them so much these days? John F Kennedy was so taken with his rocking chair that he took it on Airforce One with him and he had others bought for Camp David and the Kennedy estate. He was so smitten by the concept that he would even give them as gifts to friends or to other heads of state.


Kennedy had actually been told to use a rocking chair because he suffered from back problems. Due to the way it works, a rocking chair is actually very ergonomic. When you sit in it, because of the design, it will naturally move so that you are always balanced, minimising stress on the back.


You can experience this for yourself if you sit in one. You will immediately feel how you are balanced over your centre of gravity and you can then gently rock yourself for a reassuring, relaxing experience. It is a different kind of combat, which makes it all the more strange that such chairs are currently relatively rare.


Perhaps then, we should bring back the rocking chair. Space constraints may be one of the reasons why they are so rarely seen, with people preferring large, soft armchairs instead. However, a similar experience can be had on a smaller scale with an Eames rocking chair. The Eames chair is a classic, moulded design in itself, but combined with a rocker, it offers something more and it doesn’t take up too much space.


The rocking chair is a unique concept that delivers something no other item of furniture can. As such, it surely has a place in the modern home.


Charles Spencer has had an old, wooden rocker for many years, but is thinking about trying out an Eames rocker from


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Erin Emanuel