Children’s Furniture History 101: The Learning Curve - From Non-existent to Ergonomic

Let’s take a trip down memory lane and take a sneak peek into how children’s furniture came to be. Before words like “ergonomic” and “functional” were associated with said home fittings and before safety and quality were universal standards in furniture-building. 

When and where can we trace the origin of children’s study chairs and desks and how has it soared on the wings of innovation to separate the ordinary from the ergonomic? Do read on to find out about the evolution of children’s furniture.

1500 B.C. - The First Pieces of Child-sized Fittings

Britannica tells us that the first pieces of child-sized fittings like beds, boxes or stools, and chairs were discovered to have been prevalent in wealthy Egyptian homes of this era. Neighboring territories from Mesopotamia, Greece, to Rome were also found to have favored these fittings as depicted in carvings, paintings, etc.

17th Century - The Breakthrough in Arm & Back Supports

Woodworkers expanded their creativity with customized furniture. Customization meant that only the rich could afford them since they were sourced, designed, and built by individual artists and carvers. Not to mention how costlier materials may have been another reason behind their extravagant price tags. But the real breakthrough in this period was the development of parts such as arms and backrests for chairs and even sofas. 

18th Century - The Spark in Woodworking Methods

The introduction of Wood Bending by Austrian craftsman Michael Thonet turned the tables in furniture cost and production from this century onwards. Bentwood technology uses steam to soften and loosen wood fibers, allowing them to be easier to carve and cut. It was the spark that would bring about the advancement of several other woodworking methods. A crucial point that would set the stage for inexpensive yet durable wood products. 

19th to 20th Century - The First Steps to Inspire Independence

The 19th century saw the direct effect of the progress made in woodworking techniques a century before. Mass production gained momentum in becoming the prevailing practice. And when WWI struck, woodworkers tested out fabricated wood elements like laminated wood and plywood to produce durable, reusable, and cost-effective results.

Subsequently, Maria Montessori, an Italian educator, innovator, and physician, influenced many to focus on coming up with furniture that would help kids require less assistance from adults. This idea was passed on to the 20th century when the improvement of furniture structures would truly take off. 

21st Century  - The Focus & Production of Ergonomic and Comfortable Furniture for Kids

Enter the word “ergonomic”. Ironically, this word has been around since the 1850s and was coined by Wojciech Jastrzębowski, a then renowned Polish scholar. But only recently has it become a common word in this generation. More importantly, in the context of furniture. 

Ergonomic furniture today equates to a higher standard for quality and safety— the very standards we, at SingBee, continually adhere to for your child’s overall seating comfort and safety. 

Browse through innovative and ergonomic supportive desk chairs and tables your kids will surely love! For additional details, take time to go over our blogs and updates about how to find the ideal furniture for your little tyke and other helpful furniture facts and trivia.

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