The Adirondack chair is a simple rustic wooden chair for outdoor use. In the original design it was made with 11 flat wooden boards, with a straight back and seat. It also features wide armrests. In English speaking Canada it is known as the Muskoka chair, from the eponymous Ontario district, and the Laurentian chair or chaise des Laurentides, in French speaking Canada.
The precursor to today's Adirondack chair was designed by Thomas Lee in 1903. He was on vacation in Westport, New York, in the Adirondack Mountains, and needed outdoor chairs for his summer home. He tested the first designs on his family. After arriving at a final design for the "Westport plank chair," Lee offered it to Harry Bunnell, a carpenter friend in Westport, who was in need of a winter income. Bunnell quickly realized the chair was the perfect item to sell to Westport's summer residents, and apparently without asking Lee's permission, Bunnell filed for and received patent 794,777 in 1905. Bunnell manufactured his plank chairs for the next twenty years. His "Westport chairs" were all signed and made of hemlock in green or medium dark brown.
Today's Adirondack chairs usually feature a rounded back and contoured seat. The founder of this style seems to be Irving Wolpin who designed his chair as early as 1938 and filed for and received patent 109239. The style has also been translated to other pieces of furniture, from gliders to love seats and tête-à-tête's. Some modern Adirondack chairs are made out of plastic lumber or engineered wood instead of solid wood.
When made of wood a variety of types of wood are used. Each type reflects the longevity of the Adirondack chair 
Pine is fine for short term but is not termite resistant and is prone to water damage, mildew and rotting. Pine last longer when finished with a primer and UV rating top coat. Pine can last longer than a few years but it requires regular maintenance. Pine is a cheap wood available anywhere and most often used in low cost products. Pressure treated pine is also used but contains chemicals harmful to ones health.
Cedar is the best softwood for longevity as it is naturally impervious to rot and the cedar oils deter insects. Cedar is the choice wood for decks, boardwalks, and such due to its high durability and easy availability in North America as it is a native wood there. Marks and blemishes can be easily sanded away and cedar can last many generations. If left unfinished it will eventually turn to a soft silvery grey and in a decade small fissures will show up in the wood surface but they do not compromise the strength or life of the wood. There are many species of cedar but the longest lasting of them is western red cedar.
Teak is a very heavy hardwood that can last for generations. Its density creates the heavy weight to this wood and like cedar it is naturally impervious to termites. Teak is imported and not a native wood to North America and with its heavy weight and high demand it is quite expensive (up to 3 times the price of products made of cedar, and up to 6 times the price of products made of pine). Teak is difficult to care for as it does not take a stain well.
Adirondack chairs are becoming popular as outdoor seating at cafés because the flat armrests are suitable for setting food and beverages on, making it possible to provide individual seating without tables.
They are commonly made as school projects around the world.
Adirondacking is a term used in the southern U.S. to describe public picnics at which people sit primarily in Adirondack chairs. It is also used to describe using public Adirondack-chair displays outside home-improvement and grocery stores as a leisure break while shopping.
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