A Brief Clarification About Camp Stools
The stool as it now called was a “chair” in ancient times. The stool, consisting of a frame with a covering suspended on the top for a seat has been in use for over 2000 years. Originally the stool (chair) was used only by a king or chief, so it follows that the position of a chairman at a meeting comes from this exalted use.
I have offered common stools using strong woods and 18th Century joiner methods for 25 years as a camp accessory with no known original to copy. These have been mistakenly called Washington stools by others. Washington’s stools were provided to him by Philadelphia upholsterer Plunket Fleeson along with tentage and tables May 1776 and are of unique construction. We know of the construction from only two known of the original eighteen. They are as different from my common stool as a Volkswagon is to a Cadillac and by my agreement with the Smithsonian not available to the general public. Duplicates of Washington’s stools made by me may be seen at Yorktown National Historical Park and at Rockingham Historic Site in Kingston, New Jersey.
My common camp stool is very strong and stable with two grades of seating- heavy linen canvas or double layer heavy cotton. Cotton will stretch and was not used in this fashion in the 18th Century. Frame construction is the same for both versions of the common stool. Linen costs more. The difference is due to hand stitching and cost of linen versus machine sewn cotton. Common camp stools come painted red, blue, green or yellow. This common camp stool is with canvas seating is priced at $80.00, while the linen seated version is $110.00.
My officer grade camp stool employs more involved construction techniques with mortice and tenon joints with recessed riveting, hemp or linen canvas underpinning and green Baize upholstery covering secured with cast brass nails (tacks) to varnished walnut framing. Legs have a stylish slight serpentine Chippendale shape and these stools costs $300.00 on special order.
I am sorry, but I know of no folding stools appearing in etchings, engravings or paintings known to have been produced in the 18th century having a back support.