Lyon, Irving Whitall, 1840-1896. / The colonial furniture of New England
Chapter V. Chairs., pp. -188 ff.
CHAPTER V. CHAIRS. CHAIRS were very scarce in early colonial times. Only fifty-six are mentioned in the first sixty-one inventories of Plymouth, Mass., made from 1633 to 1654, and but one hundred in the first seventy-nine inventories, from 1639 to 1653, in Boston. The inventories of the first fifty-six householders of New Haven, Conn., recorded from 1647 to 1662, show one hundred and forty-six chairs, while only one hundred and fifty are found among the chattels of the first seventy-five householders of Hartford, Conn., from 1641 to 1659. In many of these inventories no chairs at all are mentioned, while in others the number much exceeds the average, ranging from six to twenty-four. This scarcity of chairs was not mainly due to dis- tant migration, pioneer life, and lack of wealth, but rather to the use of stools and forms for seats, a cus- tom which the colonists had brought from the mother country. In England stools and forms were yet in common use, and chairs, which during the sixteenth century had been very scarce, did not become at all abundant till after the Commonwealth.
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