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Washington's interest in science and mechanics can be seen through his purchasing of this chair. While in Philadelphia attending the Constitutional Convention in 1787, he 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. The chair consisted of pedals 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.

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