10 Surprisingly Fun Facts About Furniture
1. Charles Darwin was an innovator in every sense of the word, and that extended to furniture design as well. To move around his study more efficiently and get to his specimens quicker, he added wheels to the bottom of his chair – so was born the modern office chair.
2. The earliest known game of musical chairs occurred in 1877.
3. Aerosmith frontmen Steven Tyler and Joe Perry are known to have included a chainsaw among their touring equipment to assist with the destruction of hotel room furniture. As horrific as this is to hear for furniture lovers, their dedication is second-to-none.
4. Prince Phillip was born on a kitchen table.
5. Included among Leonardo da Vinci’s writings on table etiquette are the following directives:
- Do not sit beneath the table for any length of time
- Do not use your knife to carve upon the table
- Do not set loose birds upon the table
- And if you are to vomit then you leave the table
No mention of giving birth to dukes.
6. The British Navy Ship HMS Resolute was trapped in Arctic ice and abandoned in 1854, but it was later salvaged, broken up, and the timber used to create some iconic furniture pieces. These included a writing table used by Queen Victoria and subsequent British monarchs, and the ‘Resolute desk’ which was presented to US President Rutherford B. Hayes and is still used in the White House today.
7. In Ancient Egypt, chairs were only used by the very wealthy. Typically, the higher the status of the person, the higher the legs of their chair were.
8. In the 1950’s, draughtsman Gillis Lundgren removed the legs of a wooden table so it would fit into the boot of his car. He told his boss about this space-saving idea, and they soon started developing a range of flat-pack ‘self-assembly’ furniture. His boss was Ingvar Kamprad. The company was IKEA. The rest is history.
9. The credenza is a versatile item found in many offices and homes, but it has a fascinating backstory. It was originally a simple cloth-covered table, before evolving into a decorated architectural structure. In the 16th century, the word ‘credenza’ referred to the act of a servant taste-testing food and drinks for poison before they were given to an important person. It appears the name was transferred to the room that act took place in, and eventually to the furniture that was used.
10. There have been well over 500 unique ‘couch gags’ used in the opening sequence on The Simpsons. From the parody of the Monty Python Foot of Cupid to the fully choreographed circus routine to the mismatched heads, it’s one of the most famous running jokes in television history.