The fine folks over at Design Boom have a fascinating feature covering the history of rocking chairs.
They note that by 1787, the words "Rocking Chair" made their debut in the Oxford English Dictionary but even earlier than that, references to rocking chairs and rockers had long been around. A 1625 German woodcut, depicts a semi-circle producing a rocking motion and going even further than that an early renaissance painting by Andrea Mantega shows a child in a cradle. Precursors to the modern rocking chair include a Birdcage Windsor Rocker, circa 1800, and a Shaker Rocker circa 1820.
However, it seems that the Iron Rocking Chair, shown at the Great Exhibition of the Industries of All Nations in 1851, is the inspiration to modern classics like Le Corbusier's model nr. B306 and Torben Orskov's rocking chaise lounge.
Who knew something so simple and homey as a rocking chair, could have such a vast and interesting past?
Also available is a poster featuring 229 rocking chairs, which would be a fun addition to the nursery or family room.