Patent model for adjustable reclining chairs

George A. Schastey American, born Germany

Not on view

George A. Schastey (1839–1894) headed one of the principal cabinetmaking and decorating firms of America’s Gilded Age. Born in Merseburg, Germany, he immigrated to New York as a young boy in 1849. After fighting for the Union in the Civil War, Schastey took up work in New York’s expanding furniture trade with several of the city’s leading cabinetmakers and decorators before opening his own business in 1873.
The late nineteenth century was a period of great innovation in American cabinetmaking. In keeping with contemporary notions of technology as a means to improve comfort, Schastey filed a patent for a new kind of reclining chair, submitting this model as well as drawings. The United States Patent Office eventually removed the requirement to submit a working model as part of the patent submission and the accumulated collection was dispersed. Remarkably, Schastey’s patent model survives with its original upholstery and paper identification tags. The model’s overall form is typical of the Renaissance Revival style in vogue after the Civil War.

Patent model for adjustable reclining chairs, George A. Schastey (American (born Germany), Merseburg 1839–1894 at sea), Walnut, paper labels, and original silk upholstery, American

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