Fond memories, relaxing moments and friendly conversations are associated with the rocking chair. Historic rocking chair styles, such as the English Windsor rocking chair of the 1700s, are treasured today as they were many years ago. Benjamin Franklin is often credited with crafting the first American rocking chair around 1750. Boston, Salem and Shaker rocking chairs are historic favorites.
Rocking chairs make contact with only two places on the floor at any one time, creating a pleasant swaying movement for the user. The rocking motion creates a sense of weightlessness, aids in circulation and helps relieve tension. Babies, children and adults enjoy the vacillating sensation created by a rocking chair. During the early 19th century, grandparents and heads of households in the Midwest saw the rocking chair as a status symbol. Rocking chairs remain a favorite furniture piece in homes today.
Named after England's Windsor Castle, the Windsor rocking chair was one of the first crafted chairs of its kind during the early 1700s. Primarily used as a chair to sit down and relax in the outdoor garden, it was created from one of the most abundant available resources -- wood. A variation of the original Windsor rocker is the 18th-century, Windsor comb-back rocker, where the back of the rocker resembles a comb.
The Carolina rocker became known as the Kennedy rocker due to its popularity with late President John F. Kennedy. Suffering from chronic back trouble, JFK was prompted by his doctor to try this rocker. He liked this rocker to the extent that 14 of them were accumulated over his lifetime, one even placed on Air Force One. This rocker features a high cane back, cane seat and steam-bent back posts that curve around the back.
Created by the Shakers, a religious sect in America, the Shaker rocking chair came into existence in America in 1820. This rocker is simple, functional, well proportioned and without embellishment. Shaker rockers are characterized by high ladder-backs with finial-topped posts, with seats woven of leather, cane or wool. Historically, Shaker rockers were often custom-made to accommodate a person's body weight and height.