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4x lawn chairs.
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The folding lawn chair is an American summertime classic. Lightweight and durable, the portable chairs are carted to campouts and tailgates, backyard barbecues and beaches. I wonder how many Fourth of July fireworks have been admired from the webbed seat of a classic aluminum lawn chair? How many great summer memories from your youth are punctuated with the sound of those chairs being snapped open?
The rise of this all-American staple coincided with the growth of suburbs after World War II, when homes with larger lawns were suddenly more affordable. Aluminum production soared during the war, since it was used in the structural framing of military aircraft. After the war, manufacturers sought other uses for the strong yet lightweight material. Turns out, narrow aluminum tubing was great for making chairs.
It was actually a WWII veteran turned inventor who designed the original lawn chair. A former P-38 combat fighter pilot named Fredric Arnold came up with the idea of streamlining an existing collapsible chair that had been used for decades in schools and churches. His original design in 1947 was more crude and less sturdy than today's metal folding chairs, but was it was influenced by the stripped-down utilitarian designs of the early mid-century modern period. 1.