Where did the chair originate from? I was sitting on one the other day and it said Made in China," but where did it first come from?"

Hold onto your seat; we'll have to move to the rear of civilization's timeline to trace the origins of what you find beneath your fanny.

Before the sixteenth century, people planted their buns on benches, chests, and stools when they wanted to sit for a spell. Chairs had been around for thousands of years, but typically were reserved for royalty or folks in positions of authority. Egyptian, Greek, and Roman chairs were ornate with symbolic decorations and designs. Chairs from the medieval period featured figures of saints and scenes from the Gospels, carved into marble, cast in bronze, or etched into heavy oak. What we know about chairs from long ago generally comes from paintings, sculpture, and ancient monuments, because few actual chairs survived over the years.

Renaissance Europe pulled the seat out from under the practice of reserving squatting rights for only the rich and famous. Chairs came into common use, with men and women's fancy dressing habits dictating seating styles. In the eighteenth century, lots of people started playing around with chair design, and the creativity expressed earned the era the title of "the golden age of the chair." While ideas were crisscrossing between countries, especially France and England, Thomas Jefferson contributed his own clever design in the United States with his invention of the swivel chair.

Chairs became more portable and body-molding in the twentieth century as folding chairs, beanbag chairs, and ergonomically-correct office chairs gained popularity. And who can imagine television viewing without the comfort of Dad's favorite recliner? The reclining chair has been around since it's originators, two cousins from Michigan who quit their jobs to chase the American dream, patented their design in 1929. With an immediate hit in the marketplace, the twosome held a contest to give their "baby" a proper name. Entries came in, including "The Sit-N-Snooze," "Comfort Carrier," and "Slack Back." Of course, the name that stood out for sittin' back: La-Z-Boy.