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Platform or spring rocking chair

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    Posted 12 years ago

    (1 item)

    Just got this rocker from my brother in law. Story goes it came out to Montana with a country doctor in the early 1900's. Was used in his office until his death in the late 1950's 0r 60's. It was hauled off to the dump where great grandfather found it and brought it home for his personal use. He was a carpenter for Andaconda Co. in Great Falls, Mt. and refinished it as a carpenter would for use in his house. The chair is solid, but was not restored to antique quality. It would appear that any wrong doings could be repaired (except the original finish and upholstery). I can't find out much about it, but here is what I know at this time: Platform or spring rocker, patent on spring-1897, may be made by Rousseau Brothers Furniture, Rose Furniture, or A.H. Schram and Sons of Sheboygan, Wis., Might be called a "sooner" back style? Would like to know more about it if anyone can add to the discussion, design or history of this rocker. We were told it should go to a museum, but I'm not sure that was because the chair was rare, or it should be part of the community where the doctor was from. Hope someone out there will enjoy the photos and be able to help me out with what I might have. Thanks, Steve

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    1. Julie , 12 years ago
      This chair was made by A.H. Schram and Sons of Sheboygan Wisconsin. Mr. Schram had a patent on the spring. Our family has a number of these platform rockers because A.H. Schram was my great grandfather. My grandfather was also involved in the furniture business much of his life and helped manufacture and upholster these rockers and other types of furniture. They're comfortable rockers aren't they??!
    2. Steve Deffe', 12 years ago
      Julie, thanks for your comments on the chair, and how cool is it that your great grandfather built this chair and you can still admire his work! Yes the chair is very comfy, we would like to get it re-upholstered, but didn't want to alter it any further until we knew more about it. Still have a couple questions that I would like somebody to answer: Is the shape of the back unique, or were there a lot of them like this made and still out there? What is the shape called? What kind of material or pattern material should it be re-upholstered in (anyone have a picture or catalog listing of this chair?). If I'm going to re re-restore it, I might just as well do it up right. Thanks again, Steve
    3. Julie, 12 years ago
      Steve--I have some pages from an old catalog that offers to upholster the rocker in either leather, mohair plush, jacquard velour, imported verona or crushed plush. I've seen some of the old rockers upholstered in a linen cotton velvet that my mother said looks like many of the original ones. I haven't seen a chair with a back just like yours and unfortunately don't know the name of it. Many of the rockers were made with a curved wooden back with some decorative carving. The space between the arms and the seat was often open on a "basic rocker". The pricing on a basic chair upholstered in leather was $23.00 and a fully upholstered chair in leather was $60.00. The date on the catalog that I have is 1904; my great grandfather got the patent for the spring on July 16, 1896. I suspect that your chair is around 100 years old! I have seen photos of a rocker that does have an upholstered back and seat, back is squared off (vs yours is rounded), and space between arms and seat is open. I suspect that there were many kinds manufactored over the years! I will ask my cousin if he has seen a chair exactly like yours. Let me know if you have any more questions.
    4. Steve Deffe', 12 years ago
      Julie, thanks for the info on my chair. Any chance of getting a copy of those pages? Maybe you could send me in the direction of the web site that has the catalog and I could copy it myself? Looking forward to hearing back from you if you hear any more from your cousin. Steve
    5. Dianne Neely, 12 years ago
      Do you have any idea where I could buy one of these lovely chairs? My daughter is expecting, and I really want to get her an upholstered platform spring rocker.

      Thank you so much,
    6. Sharon L. Madsen, 12 years ago
      Hi, I just ran across this site. I believe I have one of the A.H Schram Coil Spring Rockers. My husbands grandmother bought it new back in the early 1900. It has been in his family since. We inhearted it in 1997 after his father passed away. It has probably been recovered. We replaced a broken coil at the cost of having one made her in San Diego, Ca for $450.00 for one Coil. It had to be made special for us. Maybe we were taken advantige of, I don't know but my husband has many memorys with this chair. We didn't know the name of the chair or any information. I now was reserching it when I came across this site. I will try to take pictures of our chair and if you let me know where I can up load the pictures I will try to do so. By the way my husbands family were from Elkhorn, Wis. Thank you for your information. Sharon L. Madsen
    7. Steve Deffe', 12 years ago
      Sharon, does your chair have the rounded back? Wow, that seems like a lot of money to replace that spring. I would imagine it is labor intensive to coil and bend it to the exact right specs, finding some spring steel and heat treating it so it doesn't just bend flat when someone sits and rocks in it. Maybe it was a deal at that price! One thing is for sure, it was definitely worth fixing, especially given how comfortable these chairs are. Now your family can make some memories of their own. I remember when I posted my note on this site for my chair, there was a place on the form that allowed me to down load four photos. I downsized them like I was going to email them, pulled them onto my desktop, then put them into the space on this site. Give it a try, I think it's important to see these chairs, as there isn't a lot of info out there. I was able to find some general info, when I ran across this site and decided to see if anyone knew anything about these chairs. Julie was able to share some valuable info (above) with everyone. I'm still waiting to see some pictures she might have in an old catalog. Good luck, looking forward to seeing your chair. Steve
    8. Madjl, 12 years ago
      Thank you for your note. I just uploaded my pictures on The Show and Tell site. It is listed under Furnature and Rocking Chair. Thanks to you I went looking for a way to upload my pictures. We wanted to go to the San Diego Antique Road Show, but we didn't get picked and we had now way of telling them about the unusual Rocking chair. All I could find is Chest of Drawers and Couches. Sad, they don't make it easier for odd thing to be brought forward. I have watched them for years looking for a chair like ours. You chair was the first one I have seen like ours. Mine is a stright back and apolstered. We love this chair and it is in our living room. I saw where others were looking for a place to get replacement springs and that is why I put the place EZ Springs up for others. The cost the man 150.oo for the about of metal he needs to coil, then it has to be fired to temper it. So, that is why it is so expensive. But, he has the equipment to make them. Thank you for your posting. I would have never found out the information if you hadn't started it.
    9. Kathy, 12 years ago
      I have A 50 YEAR old coil spring rocking chair that is all real wood, seat straps are leather and screwed in, 2 removable cushions, the skirt at the bottom is stapled to the chair. I want to sell it, but don't know how much it is worth. I heard it can be worth $500 if I sold it at an auction, but don't know how true that is. Can someone help me? Thank You, Kathy
    10. Lance Beckman, 12 years ago
      We have a platform rocker with that unique coiled steel spring. It has wood arms with a broader padded area. Is it likely that any of these rockers with the unique spring were made by the Shram Company. The rocker belonged to my grandparents who moved to Minnesota from Wisconsin with this chair around 1890.
    11. ellen romrell, 12 years ago
      We have a wooden high back coil rocker rocking chair. been in our family since 1898. was purchased in salt lake City. the patent on the hardware is 1897. It is in excellent condition and works wonderfully. It has no padded cushioning. Just all wood. no repairs.
    12. ellen romrell, 12 years ago
      the rocker shown here with the round back and padded was made after 1930. If you research back enough, you will find that the very smooth design, the very unique joints and cuts/contours of the wood and how it is put together is not of old workmanship. more on the modern day design and construction.
    13. ellen romrell, 12 years ago
      also, the (white) casters on the front legs of the rocker appear to be plastic. The antique quality of these particular rockers have the spinning wooden casters mounted with an metal shield guide.
    14. Steve Deffe', 12 years ago
      Thanks for the info Ellen! I was going to have the chair re-upholstered, but wanted to be sure I wasn't doing any further damage to the value of the chair. I had noticed the plastic casters too, and will replace them with some wooden ones when I have the fabric/padding work done this spring. Guess I'll just pick out some fabric pattern I like, as I couldn't get anyone to send catalog photos along for me to find a match. You mentioned you may have more on modern day design and construction. Can you tell me where I might find out more about these chairs, would like to see a photo of this round back design/chair in their catalog? Thanks in advance, Steve
    15. ellen romrell, 12 years ago
      the design of the rocker I have is the same design of our old upright dresser built in the late 1800's. My word it not gospel on the design but I do recognize how the change in design of the wooden pieces used in your rocker are of a more modern contour of the 20's to 30's. Keep searching, that is what I do and you will run onto more info about these coil rocker rocking chairs. some of the earliest ones did have wooden coil rockers, and, my grand mother's baby buggy made in the 1800's had the wooden coil rockers on the wheel bar for rocking the baby.
    16. Jay Knutson, 12 years ago
      I just took some pictues of a coiled spring rocker that my brother has that belonged to my grandmother. We think she purchased it to rock our father in the early 1900's. Where do I forward pictures for comments?
    17. Matt Waid, 12 years ago
      I just came across this site and wanted to share my two cents. A.H.Schram and sons moved to Merrill Wi in 1906 (?) after they left Sheboygen. They ran a furniture/embalming business in Merrill. My dad bough the business in 1977 and still has the funeral home! It's really cool to see furniture from Schram still out there!
    18. shanon, 12 years ago
      Does anyone know where I might purchase a Schram coil spring? One of them broke on our rocking chair. I would be willing to purchase a Schram chair that was priced under 150.00. Thank you
    19. RLSullivan, 12 years ago
      My wife's grandmother had an old rocking chair, and thanks to some of the comments on this site, we were able to identify as an A.H.Schram chair. She lived in Manitowoc, WI and the manufacturer was in near by Sheboygan. It was interesting to learn that the Schram sons moved the company to Merrill, WI and ran it as a furniture/embalming business, since my wife's family owned a funeral home. We posted a photo in the Show & Tell section.
    20. TGomoll, 12 years ago
      Another believed to be Schram rocker has surfaced in Milbury, Ohio. This one might provide some needed insights to other owners hoping to restore their chairs. A brief background, not much is known about it prior 1957. It is a straight back model with the seat differing from the pictured one but with an identical base. This one went through a fire and got pretty scortched. The son of the household rescued it from being buried with the rest of the fire debris and did a garage restoration on it. He kept it in his family moving from the Dakotas, to California, to Michigan and after his death it went to Indiana with his daughter. Some time ago one of the coil springs snapped and it got relegated to the garage. Being a family heirloom her mom wanted to repair it and put it back into service. Here's the curious part. As many are finding out these springs aren't growing on trees, but a friend had just purchased an old homestead and there was a pair of these springs hanging in the barn with all of the associated mounting hardware. Upon comparison the springs looked identical until you placed them side by side. They are wound to a different endpoint. That is if either end is placed in the mount the other end is hopelessly out of alignment with the other mount. Because the mounts use two blind holes to anchor the spring to the wood and two blind carriage bolts to hold it in place, it doesn't look like rotating this mount on the present base is going to work. Over the years it can be seen that both base uprights have cracked right through the lower spring mount area anyway. The proper spring might just cause a splitting torque that would break the wood anyway. So a new base is going to be in order. Does anybody know off hand what kind of wood was used in these rocker bases? I would like to keep it as authentic as possible even with the 1957 repairs, but I now feel like I'm painting over a Mona Lisa painting.
    21. John, 12 years ago
      I know a lady that has a couple of the A.H.Schram coil springs for sale. I bought one from her for $375. They are originals and mine works fine. I was going to have one made but it was well over $400. Not cheap any way you look at it. But if you would like this lady's contact information, let me know and I will pass it along.
      Happy collecting!! -John
    22. TravisSchram, 11 years ago
      Hey Steve, Like Julie I am also a family member of A.H. Schram. I'm his Great Great Grandson. I really love the fact that there are groups of people that not only like these chairs but still use them. I think if I remember correctly that the chair you have is one of the newer models that he made. If you could call a 100 year old chair "newer." My late uncle collect a large amount of info on the chairs that he and his sons made while he was looking up our family tree. Anything from the factory photo's to ad's and other things. If I can get my mitts on that info from my aunt I would be happy to share. Just let me know. F.Y.I... I personally would leave the chair you have the way it stands I would think that it would be worth more like that. For the chairs our family owns we left them as we found them. Best of luck!
    23. rockingdakco, 11 years ago
      I have one of these spring rockers as well, both springs once broke but I had a welder repair them about 15 years ago and they work like new. Mine has been in the family since it was new, but has been refinished and reappolstered. The original appolstery tag is still on it dated from Jan 5, 1897 from A W Seabrams and sons, Oshkosh. I still sit in it everyday, this one is a straight back with Indian head carved arm supports. Is there anywhere else that I can find more information on rockers like this?
    24. rockingdakco, 11 years ago
      Read The tag wrong, it is very worn, should have been A H Schram as the upholstery, above, but says Oshkosh
    25. Steven Steven, 11 years ago
      Thanks everyone for all the great information on my chair and others made by the Schram company! Travis made a comment about leaving the chair as it was, and I appreciate where he is coming from. However the chair was not useable in the condition it was in, the seat cushion was broken down and falling apart. It would get all over your clothes and leave a pile of debris on the floor where you were rocking! Plus it had been in a smoking household for years and didn't smell very good! Needless to say, I took it in for new upholstery. Without any photos to go by I picked a period looking pattern. The shop I took it to did a complete rebuild of the springs, cushion, and edging. They didn't think the original had all those tacks in the chair,again with no one sending along any pictures of original chairs, all we could do was guess. I can't post any more photos on this posting, so I was told to start another post. I guess it will come up with this one? Look for the new re finished chair---Ellen, notice I changed the plastic casters! Thanks to all of you again, we are enjoying our new chair!! And yes, it sure is comfortable! Steve
    26. jonnierisk, 8 years ago
      question on this type of rocker, I have one, that a friend brought to me to redo, and I am still not sure it should be redone, it's in original condition, fairly so, seat is still there, but was covered up with canvas to help keep it usable. Any idea's of it's value, it's a A.W. Schram & son's rocker, Oshkosh, Wisconsin, Chair number 14 or Chair #81 Upholster number is either a S or a 5.
    27. OfCharmingcharacter, 7 years ago
      Thanks everyone for the information. I am late to the conversation but have been wondering about my chair for ages. It has a readable A.W. Schram & sons' company label under the seat. I posted pictures of my chair under the unsolved mystery but looks like you have been talking about this for awhile. Was wondering if Julie or Travis posted any pictures from the catalogs so I might get a better idea of age and style of my rocker. Was trying to figure out more about my chairs style- much simpler slated back, upholstered seat design. Would love any info available. Was wondering about value and insuring it. Thanks.
    28. AuntieEm AuntieEm, 3 years ago
      So is there both an A W Schwam and an AH Schwam? I have one that I believe is one of the older ones but part of the paper tag is missing.

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