Nunzia De Santis. Bar Stools. November 29th, 2017.
What all these stools have in common is that they are made of wood. Back in the times of wild west, metal was not as prevalent as it is today, and the cowboys had to make do with the materials that were more readily accessible, in particular wood. So the cowboys had to master the art of woodworking to create these stools. The other materials the cowboys had available were natural leathers, either coming from caught wild animals, but more commonly from the cows that were slaughtered for their meat.
When space is at a premium in your bar or around your counter top, you will want to either get a backless adjustable height stool to take up the least amount of space, or you will go for a folding counter stool. A folding counter stool will collapse the back rest, the seat, and the legs into a single thin plane, and so flattened will become highly useful for stowing away, and for transporting it from room to room, and even to an entirely new place altogether, such as a second home.
Bar Stools - The continuous evolution: In the old days bar stools were strictly utilitarian, just wooden pieces nailed together to form sturdy seats. There was not much call for aesthetic modifications, and life back then was generally plain-looking by today`s standards. If you have seen movies depicting the medieval or Middle Ages, then you will be familiar with the rough-hewn appearance of their furniture. They were often unpadded as well, so sitting for long periods of time was not an attractive prospect. The Renaissance saw a sudden uprising in the call for beauty, and everything became covered with carvings and etchings. These bar stools were no exception, and their long legs in particular were made more aesthetically ornate. Padding as part of the seat and not as a separate cushion was also introduced. Not surprisingly, not everyone could afford these fancy seats, so the simple designs were still common in the seedier bars and public houses. This disparity is important to consider, since it has led to the richness of choice that we have today. In the previous century, every decade saw changes in popular fashion and aesthetics, so public houses changed their appearance regularly. Those periods saw the use of chrome, leatherette, rotating seats, and polyurethane foam. These stools became fixtures around counters, literally speaking. Being bolted to the floor, their fixed nature prevented them from being used in the inevitable bar brawl. Alcohol seems to often lead to violence of some sort, and many a bar has seen destruction at the hands of inebriated patrons. At least, the stools would be spared too much damage.
Bar Stools - An old tradition: Bar stools are arguably as old as bars themselves. When someone thought of putting up a relatively tall, long table that would serve as a centerpiece for a public house, it would not have taken long to think up appropriate seating. The bar is often at elbow height of a standing man of average height, for the purposes of making things easier for the bartender who serves while standing, and also to draw attention in a room. Its height meant that conventional chairs would leave patrons at chest or chin-height in relation to the bar, which is no way to enjoy some food or drink. When bar counters served as focal points for food and drink as they did in the old days, one really needed one`s hands at the right height. The obvious solution was to go to the bar counter, order food or drink, then finish it off while standing up and leave afterwards. This was fine for the utilitarian purpose of public houses, but soon people started wanting to hang out for longer. In any case, taverns and pubs profited from having customers hang around for more than just a drink or two. Bar stools were invented to provide comfort and in turn generate revenue for the owners. The height meant that the countertop was in easy reach, and the narrowness meant one could seat a large number of people at the long counter. Since then, going to the pub to meet the locals and congregating at the bar for some drinking have become traditional pastimes. It would probably be unthinkable to imagine a world without the age-old practice of chilling out with the guys or gals for a drink after work while resting one`s feet.
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