Saw these classics recently, and they struck me as sort of the classic southern porch rocker - maybe it was those knob posts, and maybe also the white paint that always complements the house. I don't know the brand name because they didn't have tags.
Also seems to me that black shutters and even the grey porch floor are also classic. Definitely part of the American look.
Black rockers also would work here - of course they would capture the shutters and rails at this house. And black rockers definitely seem popular - in fact, they may be almost as popular as white. But white is more likely to show stains and scratches I suppose (and the rust marks you see on the rocker in the foreground here, from where the screws attach the runners to the posts).
Personally I don't think the proportions are quite right here - although close. The posts look just a little skinny to me and the knobs stick out above the headrest just a little more prominently than I'd like - but all in all, I like this look.
Not sure about the woven wicker side table - a little froofy to go with handsome rockers like these. Just sayin'.
It's always fun to wander through charming neighborhoods and see what people have done to make their homes unique and pretty! One of those special times is around the Halloween season - boo!
I've seen a lot of fun things done with skeletons (coming out of a grave, hanging from a tree, climbing a ladder...), but it's nice to see when folks give the skeletons a rest and a nice place to chill - and sure enough, I found a few of those this year.
So I present to you Rockin' Skeletons, Charleston Porch style!
I watched "Thirteen Days", an excellent, gripping film about the closest the United States ever came to nuclear war, when the US realized that Russia had begun placing intercontinental ballistic missiles just 90 miles from the US on the island of Cuba. It's no spoiler to tell you that the crisis ended well (the world didn't end did it), but I can't imagine the stress of dealing with that escalating situation for almost two weeks while JFK knew the fate of the world was in his hands.
But luckily, he had his rocking chair. And he spend a lot of time in it. Not just for those two weeks, but for all his presidency. He had one in his bedroom, one in the oval office, and even one in Air Force One. "Where I go," said JFK, "it goeth".
I never liked the pads he had on his rocking chair - covering up the seat, the back, and even the arms - but they did make it more comfortable - and he had a REALLY bad back. For more color on that, maybe watch The Crown, Season 2, Episode 8, "Dear Mrs. Kennedy" - where you'll get a "dose" of knowledge about his pain medications etc etc.
So, I sign off of today's blog - wishing you a happy and healthy back, hopefully made so not by painkillers, but by a wonderfully ergonomically made rocking chair!
Happy Holidays from your favorite rocking chair lover! Here is a warm and cozy holiday photo of a REALLY interesting chair that combines two styles of Windsor chair that were popular in America's colonial days. A "sackback" (occasionally called a "hoopback") chair has a single piece of birch (or whatever wood the chair is made of) that has been steam-bent to connect one arm to the other and to support the upper end of the back spines of the chair. A "comb-back" chair features a styled headrest at the top of the back spines instead. This particular chair has combined the elements of both. The back spines extend from the sold seat, through the armrest support, then up through the hoop, and then they keep going up until finally being anchored in the comb. What a chair! A bit too much style for some i'm sure, but anyway you have to admire all the engineering and work involved to put that all together.
Some day I'll post about how the history of rocking chairs is intertwined with the history of Windsor chairs - but in the meantime, here is some evidence of that!
These rocking chairs are on the front porch of the lodge at the YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park Colorado, which adjoins Rocky Mountain National Park. They are the most comfortable rocking chairs I have ever sat in. The tags on the backs show they are from Frontera Furniture, and the website says they are called The World's Finest Rocking Chair. That's a grand name, isn't it. So anyway it turns out I've seen these rockers before and reviewed them before on this blog here.
Here's what I think makes these chairs so comfortable: first, they are really well sculpted and feel really natural when you sit in them - they sort of take the weight off of your butt because of the way they distribute your weight. They also have a really nice natural rock angle to them. Some rockers sit you up really straight which is awful, while others pitch you so far back it makes your neck hurt to read a book. This one has the perfect angle. Also I like the heavy substantial feel of the whole thing: the slats, the armrest - everything feels really strong and luxurious, unlike all these cheap Chinese rockers that all the big stores sell. The ones that creak and bend and then break.
By the way, I can't recommend the Y Camp highly enough. This place is just gorgeous; it's right at the entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park and they have what looks like hundreds of cute cabins you can rent, plus several lodges - and loads of things to do for the family in addition to all the amazing hiking everywhere around it. The view of the mountains from the rocking chairs on the porch is to die for.
I promised earlier to try to find a great blog I had read about the health benefits of a rocking chair. I actually didn't find the blog I was looking for, but found another one that may be better! As always, I prefer such blogs to come from someone who isn't selling rocking chairs - and this is actually from a health website called "Healthy Oils" So they're not selling rockers!
These are really interesting and compelling benefits, spanning from joint health, blood circulation, mental health benefits, to balance.
Perhaps my favorite one is this one - I totally agree with this. Rocking really does give you a "good feeling", and sometimes this is the release of endorphins.
"Rocking causes the release of endorphins that elevates the mood and relieves pain plus rocking can even lead to some weight loss as you burn 150 calories per hour with this form of exercise."
So without further ado, here are ten health benefits of a rocking chair!
When you search for "rocking chairs", you generally get a load of store listings. Sometimes that's what folks are looking for, but sometimes I'm just looking for some good advice and info. I found a great blog about rocking chairs i want to share (besides this one, of course my most favorite!). It's called The Iconic Rocking Chair and it's on the website for a company that sells restoration products for furniture (Van Dyke's Restorers). Some interesting stuff on the history of the rocking chair (even answers the titillating question "did Benjamin Franklin invent the rocking chair?"), and brings up the subject of whether rocking is actually good for you from a medical perspective (I once saw a really good article on that so when I find it sometime, I'll post a link to it here).
Regarding the photo I posted here, which came from the Iconic Rocking Chair website: these are ladderback rocking chairs, which I think are so appealing. Very few ladderback rockers are made today but back in the late 19th century, they were quite popular. One reason they are not popular these days is that some people find ladderbacks uncomfortable on their backs. It depends on the person, but if one of the back slats rests right under your shoulder blades, it can be a bit annoying. If you ever do find a great ladderback rocking chair that fits you just right, you can probably safely keep it on you porch and not have to worry about too many other people trying to sit in your chair!
We've all seen them - those too good to be true deals at Home Depot or Wal-Mart, where you see something for $99 that seems to be "just as good" as what you'd pay $400 anywhere else for! The photo on the box always looks great - have you noticed how much better it looks than the one sitting in front of you on the store floor? But even the one in the store is probably better than the one in the box. After all, if they set up a chair that has a defect, they probably return it and set up another one!
Well, here's one of those deals - and what the photos don't make clear, I'll explain. First, the rocker is spindly - it has thin parts, which would be fine if it were made of a really strong wood - but it's not. Strong woods are too expensive and hard on machinery to be used in bargain furniture. You can feel it when you pick it up. You can also tell when you try to shake the chair or twist it a bit. Chairs should be firm and not twist - but a cheap chair will. It often squeaks or click as the wood parts or screws move and pop against each other. Over time, a rocker like that will break. Not only is the wood brittle (and will become more brittle with time), but the hardware is cheap and the screws will break. It always amazes me when a Chinese factory saves like 25 cents by using cheap screws made from pot metal instead of good screws that will last. A penny saved in China is worth a dollar to the American customer - but the decision gets made in China, and we have no way of knowing the decision they made - but I can tell you they save the penny every time.
Also, look at the paint quality on this rocker. you can see the drip marks on the slats of the chair - totally avoidable with decent painting equipment, an ounce of care by the painter, or by the virtually non-existent quality control department. You can see the marks on the finish left by wrapping the armrest before the paint was dry. There's no way to fix that other than re-sanding the arm and then re-painting - and your spraypaint won't match!
Well there you go, you've gotten me started ranting about low quality furniture again. Well, that gets me every time!
Someone sent me this photo of "the world's largest cedar rocker." I guess I don't doubt this to be true, either! Note not only the scale of this monster (that's not a little boy standing next to it), but also the guy wires anchoring it to the ground! I guess it would be a pretty big hazard to have a 25 foot tall rocking chair rocking its way down the street or across the parking lot.
But since the purpose of this site is to comment on the relative comfort and quality of rocking chairs, I will just say that this rocker is probably more comfortable than some of the ones that pass for quality furniture at stores! When you look at the flat seat and back on this huge rocker, you can probably guess that the reason they constructed it this way was that flat construction is a lot cheaper than contoured wood and ergonomically designed arms or backs - and you'd be right. It's no surprise to see a gimmick chair like this one constructed this way, with cheap shortcuts that detract from comfort and quality. But it is terrible to see those same shortcuts used in furniture sold in stores. But alas, those two exact shortcuts - flat seats and backs - are as common as can be. Read my other posts if you want to learn more about what makes a great rocker.
A little gross, perhaps - but this is the actual chair Lincoln was sitting in when he was assassinated. This upholstered rocking chair was in the box at Ford's Theater in Washington, but was since moved to the Henry Ford Museum in Detroit, so not many people have seen it (as least, not as many as if it were in Washington). You can see the bloodstains from Lincoln's head wound even now. Ouch. The museum is the American history in the Henry Ford Museum at Greenfield Village, just southwest of Detroit. (For more information, go to Greenfield Village.)
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Holden loves rocking chairs and loves writing about them almost as much.