Marvelous Motel chairs
Motel chairs bring memories into your garden! We see these vintage metal patio chairs and think of our Grandparents chatting and sipping lemonade with family and friends at backyard barbeques. How did motel chairs become so popular and loved? We think they’re just fun!
I love vintage motel chairs, comfy and nostalgic… I own one (shown above) that belonged to my Grandma and it’s aged to perfection! It has that beautiful clam shell design on the back.
History of the motel chair
In 1946, Ed Warmack, an Arkansas manufacturer and sheet metal fabricator, began making metal patio furniture for post war families using his same factory that had fabricated war time metal goods.
He designed the curved ‘legs’ so that more chairs could be shipped nested together. The tube frame was made from a single length of pipe with no joints. This made a very strong frame. The seats first had holes stamped in to drain away water, but when they developed rust, Ed designed the channeled ‘tractor seat’ to solve that problem.
Because of their apparent durability soon these chairs could be found in front of motel offices and around community pools.
Sue Norton says of her old chairs, “Getting projects ready for spring. I inherited these from the children of our neighbors from long ago. I remember Mother and her friends sitting out under the shade tree shelling peas, sharing, and laughing. I will name them Verdun, Bessie and Dorothy.”
Jean Smith, from For Dragonflies And Me says, “Old metal buckets are absolutely one of my fave Flea Market Finds… not to mention the real deal, not replicas of old metal lawn chairs. This photo was taken several years ago in one of my gardens…”
Treasured by Flea Market Gardeners
Now, these nearly 70 year old chairs are sought out by junkers all over the US. Still plenty study, they are left in their original condition, or painted bright colors. They fit perfectly, either way, in our charmingly junked up gardens and add to the ancient look we love. Do you understand this? Then you may be a kindred spirit!
Where Jamie Peterson unwinds after work…she says, “with a glass of wine and cool temperatures…aahhh. I have rust planted all over in my garden!”
The official name for these chairs is the Cantilever chair, but has several unique and whimsical nicknames, Tulip chairs, Shell Backs, Clam shells, Yard chairs, Motel chairs, Gandy Bouncers, Candy Bouncers and Shott chair!
Why do we like vintage metal chairs so much?
Don’t know, but having one passed down is the reason for me…I like using things my loved ones have touched! Do you have a story concerning a motel chair in your family? What memories do they bring back for you? ~~ Sue