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USN Maine Rocking Chair - made early 1900's

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pw-collector's loves833 of 5161Mysterious "roller skates" from my uncle's childhood in Germany and Brooklyn NY ~1910-15- My barn find for the day
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    Posted 4 years ago

    (2 items)

    This chair was passed down to us by my wife's father about 20 years ago. He is now 95 years old, was born in 1922. He remembers the chair from his early boyhood days on a farm in Ohio. He thinks his mother and father obtained the chair from his grandparents around 1905 - 1910, but that is his best guess. We have tried to find information on the chair for many years, and were encouraged to find this exact same chair on this site. It appears to be a commemorative piece for the sinking of the Maine, Ship. It has U S NAVY written on the bottom right corner of the steam ship. It has two different flags on each side of the oval containing the ship. (See "rocking chair puzzle" posted by a123pjd ) Our chair shows a lot of wear from many years of use. Would like to find more information as to who manufactured the chair, and when it was made.

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    1. fhrjr2 fhrjr2, 4 years ago
      You probably will never know the maker if it is unmarked. However in researching the chair I did find a bit of information. There were two navy ships named Maine. The original had two smoke stacks (like yours) the second Maine had three stacks. From looking at picture #1 the crest board appears to be a double press back that was hand chased. Being hand chased is difficult at best to tell from a picture. Given that the chair is probably made around 1902 (plus or minus 10 years). Larkin and also the Heywood Bros. were about the first (and best) to produce this type chair in mass production.
    2. scottvez scottvez, 4 years ago
      GREAT chair.

      In addition to the Maine, there are also the US and Cuban Flags. I would think that this chair was made in the immediate aftermath of the sinking/ cries for US intervention on behalf of Cuban Independence.

      Because the War with Spain was over within a few months, the motif would have lost market interest fairly quickly. For this reason, I would think that this dates from 1898 or the early part of 1899.

      I have no information on the maker.

    3. officialfuel officialfuel, 4 years ago
      I have the same rocking chair sitting in my living room. I’ve had it for years. I bought it off a lady years ago in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Beautiful chair!

    4. Gillian, 4 years ago
      Bloody brilliant chair, absolutely brilliant.
    5. jscott0363 jscott0363, 4 years ago
      Some amazing intricate carvings here!! Beautiful chair!
    6. scottvez scottvez, 4 years ago
      These were actual pressed into the wood and not carved-- for that reason they are called press back chairs.

      They come in a myriad of designs and patterns and most were sold very cheaply through catalog sales. Often period advertising will still call them "carved".

    7. kmatthews0314, 2 years ago
      My Dad bought this exact chair from an elderly lady in the 1960’s in Atlanta GA
    8. Jlog369 Jlog369, 11 months ago
      I have this same chair. I have no history on it but mine does still have the manufacturer tag on the bottom. It is made by the Phoenix chair company in sheboygan Wisconsin.
    9. BOBR BOBR, 11 months ago
      Jlog369, could you post a picture of the manufacturer tag you found on the bottom of your chair? Thanks,
    10. Jlog369 Jlog369, 11 months ago
      I've made it my profile picture now. I'm not sure where else to post it. Let me know if that doesn't work
    11. keramikos, 11 months ago
      BOBR, Beautiful chair. :-)

      Jlog369, That worked well enough to read the label:

      Sheboygan, Wis

      Unfortunately, they seem to have failed to stamp in the model number next to "No.". :-(

      About the Phoenix Chair Company:


      The Phoenix Chair Company was a popular furniture manufacturing company that was founded in the late 19th century in Sheboygan, Wisconsin; (a city which has since been coined as the "Furniture Capital of the World").

      The company produced various furniture items such as rocking chairs, armchairs tables, dining sets, cabinets, hutches and much more, and continued to manufacture products up until the 1930s. The items were typically made of cane, oak or beechwood, and sometimes their chairs featured a unique design that was influenced by nature as well.


      There is a digitized catalog from the Sheboygan Chair Company, but I didn't see that particular chair in there:

      There are some WorldCat references for the Phoenix Chair Company:
    12. keramikos, 11 months ago
      This catalog seems more likely, as it's from 1906/1907:

      It has a lot of rockers in it, but I haven't looked at all of them.
    13. BOBR BOBR, 11 months ago
      Thanks Jlog369 for the picture of the label. Just one more piece of the puzzle. Wish it had the chair number on it. Also, keramikos, thank you for the link. I will look at it when I have time to do some more research.

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