Only three types of distinctively different seats have ever been developed. These are the stool (both fixed and folding), the bench, and the chair. Associated with the development of the seat are other objects, many of which remain with us today, such as the table and footstool.
It is also interesting to note the different groups involved in the development and production of seats, as their tools, materials and knowledge were integral to the designs which emerged during the different periods. Basically the initial chair or seat makers were the carpenters and then the joiners, who were followed by the cabinet maker and craftsman. They were followed by the decorator, then the upholsterer until the beginning of the Twentieth Century, at which time the inventor emerged, to be closely followed by the architect and then the professional designer. Most recently seating has become part of the domain of the ergonomics profession. All these groups have been responsible in their various ways for the development of seating. Of course their behaviors and actions have been constructed within their culture, for example, the seat has often been associated with political power, religion, art, and the notion of aesthetics throughout its long evolution.
The study of history can make us believe that societies progressively improve on what has come before, as our body of knowledge increases. As we know with chairs, this is not the case.
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