While in Philadelphia attending the Constitutional Convention in 1787, George Washington purchased a fan chair. Its current whereabouts are unknown, but this version likely resembles the original. Invented in 1786 for artist Charles Willson Peale by John Cram, a Philadelphia "instrument maker", the mechanism consisted of a treadle below the sitter's feet that moved the fan suspended above the chair. Peale hoped it would be "useful to the studious and others that are obliged to sit at their employments . . . to keep them cool. . . ." Washington installed his chair in his study, most likely for the convenience of the private secretaries who he employed to organize his military and plantation records. More

Date

c. 1786-1800


Geography


Material/Technique

Pine (seat), hickory (bow and spindles), chestnut (arms), maple (legs and stretchers), paint, pasteboard, leather, paper


Dimensions

Overall (H x W x D): 76 5/16 in. x 25 3/4 in. x 28 3/8 in. (193.83 cm x 65.41 cm x 72.07 cm)


Credit

Purchase, 1982


Object Number

M-2902


Colors


Mount Vernon's object research is ongoing and information about this object is subject to change. For information on image use and reproductions, click here.
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