Library chair with folding steps, 1760-1780
Photo by Peter Harholdt, 2004
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Photo by Peter Harholdt, 2004

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Photo by Peter Harholdt, 2004
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Mahogany, walnut, pine, oak, beech, leather, and steel; H. 48 in. (121.9 cm), W. 27 3/4 in. (70.5 cm), D. 34 1/4 in. (87.0 cm)
American Philosophical Society (Philadelphia, Pa.), XX7
Franklin was well known for inventing and adapting things to meet unmet needs. He altered the design of a conventional open armchair or lolling chair by fitting it with a set of short steps and using it as a library ladder. It came to be called the President's Chair when Franklin chose to sit in it while he presided over meetings of the American Philosophical Society that were held in his library at home.
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