A deckchair (or deck chair) is a folding chair, usually with a frame of treated wood or other material. The term now usually denotes a portable folding chair, with a single strip of fabric or vinyl forming the backrest and seat. It is meant for leisure, originally on the deck of an ocean liner or cruise ship. It is easily transportable and stackable, although some styles are notoriously difficult to fold and unfold. Different versions may have an extended seat, meant to be used as a leg rest, whose height may be adjustable; and may also have arm rests.
Early versions of the deck chair were made of two rectangular wooden frames hinged together, with a third rectangle to maintain it upright. A rectangular piece of canvas, of the type used in hammocks, was attached to two of the wooden rectangles to provide a seat and support. The use of a single broad strip of canvas, originally olive green in colour but later usually of brightly coloured stripes, has been credited to a British inventor named Atkins in the late 19th century, although advertisements of 1882 for a similar design refer to it as "The Yankee Hammock Chair", implying an American origin. Other sources refer to it as the "Brighton beach chair" or "chaise transatlantique" ("chaise transat"). The term 'deck' chair was used in the novels of E. Nesbit in the 1880s, and passengers on P & O liners in the 1890s were encouraged to take their own on board. The classic deckchair can only be locked in one position. Later, the strips of wood going toward the back were lengthened and equipped with supports so that there were several possible sitting positions. A removable footrest can also add to the comfort of the user.
Folding deckchairs became widely popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. During the golden age of ocean liner travel, the deckchairs upon ships' decks were sometimes reserved for particular passengers for whom crew would attach a paperboard name tag to the wicker seat-back. Such a tag is visible on an empty deckchair near the center in a famous 1912 photo showing survivors of the RMS Titanic disaster after rescue while they rest on the deck of RMS Carpathia. The same system was in use aboard Carpathia two years later; a reservation tag is visible on the empty deckchair in the lower right of a 1914 photo. The deckchairs shown on some of those photographs are of the more solid "steamer chair" type, rather than the portable canvas-seated chairs. The Titanic carried 600 such wooden chairs; six were known to survive, of which one was sold in 2001 for £35,000, and another was put up for sale in 2012 with an expected price of at least £62,000.
Source: Deckchair from Wikipedia
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