Did you know that the famous Chesterfield sofa was made so that gentlemen could sit in clubs for long hours without creasing their suits? Or that the iconic Barcelona chair was inspired by a need to design a chair that is worthy of the Spanish royalty?

We consider chair facts like this as trivia, but they tell an important story. The story of evolution and how our homes evolved in history just as we did. Here are some fantastic, quirky, and fascinating facts about chairs!

1. The origin of thrones

Do you know why kings used to sit on thrones? Interestingly, only people from the royalty or nobility sat on chairs in the medieval times. People belonging to lower social status usually sat on stools, and when in the presence of their superior, they just stood. The general population did not use chairs commonly till the 16th century. Before that, people sat on rocks or wooden benches.

2. The Oldest Chair

The oldest chairs we know about data back to Ancient Egypt over 5,000 years ago and were used as ceremonial furniture. Kings and Queens were the only people allowed to be seated on chairs.

3. Chairs Are a Surprisingly Recent Mainstream Furnishing

Although the chair has been with us for centuries, with the earliest known chairs dating back about five thousand years in Ancient Egypt, chairs didn’t start becoming commonplace until much later. When they were found at all, they were exclusive to the wealthiest of families. That began changing in the 1600s, but even then, they were rare sights in most households, where stools and benches were much more common forms of seating. It wasn’t until the dawn of the Industrial Revolution that chairs can be said to have become truly mainstream.

4. American Business Buys a TON of Chairs Every Year

To give you a sense of scale, each year, US businesses purchase a staggering 16.5 million chairs, with American consumers adding another 12 million to that total, every year. On the flip side, while we don’t have solid data on the number of chairs that wind up in the landfill every year, according to the EPA, a staggering 900 million tons of office furniture winds up in dumps around the country, every year. That adds up to a lot of chairs!

5. Darwin’s theory of the office chair

Coming from thrones to the very mundane office chair. Ever wondered who invented it? You will be surprised to know that it was the guy who told us that we were nothing more than our DNA? Yes, Charles Darwin inspired the design for the office chair in the 1800s by adding wheels to his chair to get around his study faster.

6. Cushions Were Essential Back In The Day

They are largely used for decorative purposes today, but in the 16th century when chairs were hard, cushions were an absolutely essential item. Just imagine having to sit on a stone or wooden chair for hours on end. It was during the 17th century that upholstered chairs with padded seating thankfully came into fashion.