The Adirondack chair dates back to 1903, where it was first designed in the town of Westport, New York, in the Adirondack Park, overlooking Lake Champlain. Thus the name “Adirondack Chair.” The original inventor, Thomas Lee, was on vacation and required some outdoor chairs for his summer home.
Originally called the “Westport plank chair,” he offered it to a carpenter friend named Harry Bunnell, who saw the commercial potential of this chair being sold to to Westport’s summer residents, and apparently without asking Lee’s permission filed for and received U.S. patent #794,777 in 1905. The planked “Westport chairs” were then manufactured for the next twenty years, each chair signed by Harry Bunnell, and painted in green or medium dark brown,
Originally made with 11 flat wooden boards, it features a straight back and seat and wide armrests. The development of various man made materials have allowed for the Adirondack chair to be built from various types of woods, included treated pine, red western cedar, and IPE, along with durable plastics and polymer materials. Modern Adirondack chairs usually feature a rounded back and contoured seat, modifications made by Irving Wolpin, who received U.S. patent #109239 for his design in 1938.
In addition to the standard Adirondack chairs, modified designs are available for garden chairs, rocking chairs, bar height chairs, youth and toddler chairs. End tables, center tables, connecting tables and footstools are built to work with the Adirondack chair designs.