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A vintage Barcalounger

A Barcalounger is a type of recliner made in the United States of America. It was introduced by the Barcalo Manufacturing Company of Buffalo, New York, which eventually became the Barcalounger Company. The chairs are currently produced in Morristown, Tennessee,[1] after the company filed for bankruptcy and shuttered its facilities in Rocky Mount, North Carolina and Martinsville, Virginia.

Barcalo Manufacturing also made beds in Welland, Ontario under the Quality Beds name in the first decade of the 20th century. It is reputed to be the first American company to allow its employees coffee breaks, in 1902.[2]

In popular culture[edit]

In Kurt Vonnegut's God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater (1965), Barcaloungers make an appearance in a reference to Kilgore Trout's novel "2 B R 0 2 B", where they provide luxury seating for wannabe suicides, with Government encouragement; 2 B R 0 2 B is actually a 1962 Vonnegut short story in which Barcaloungers do not figure. In the same author's Slaughterhouse-Five (1969), Billy Pilgrim is strapped to a yellow Barcalounger in the alien's flying saucer as he is abducted and taken to their planet.

In John Updike's Rabbit is Rich (1981), a Barcalounger originally belonging to Grandpa Fred Stringer looms large in the tensions between Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom and his son Nelson.

Joey and Chandler from the hit NBC sitcom Friends owned a set of Barcalounger recliners, which were often used as a plot device within the show.

Elaine and Jerry from the hit NBC sitcom Seinfeld made love on a Barcalounger recliner.

In the Call Me Irresponsible episode of another hit NBC sitcom, Frasier (Season 1 Episode 7), the eponymous star brings a new girlfriend Catherine (played by Amanda Donohoe) home. They are about to have sex on the chair belonging to Marty Crane (Frasier's father). Frasier exclaims "I won't be out-performed by a Barcalounger" before moving to the couch.

It is mentioned in the US version of the TV show Shameless, in the Season 5 premiere, titled Milk of the Gods, as part of a conversation Mickey has with a potential furniture customer.

A 7-inch single by Me First and the Gimme Gimmes was called In your Barcalounger.

Is mentioned in the Cinematic Intro of the 1995 side-scrolling platform game Gex by publisher Crystal Dynamics.

It's the chair in which Libby's father always sits in Philip Roth's 'Letting Go'

It appears in the film BASEketball, starring Trey Parker and Matt Stone.

There is mention in the (2003) film Runaway Jury making a point that the average juror does not have a vested interest in the court proceeding but that they would rather sit at home in their Barcalounger watching cable TV.

The Barcalounger is also mentioned in the Robin Williams film, RV (2006) - "..maybe even a Barcalounger that massages your ass and blows smoke at the same time."

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Thomas, Larry (11 October 2011). "Barcalounger Unveiling U.S.-Made Line". Furniture Today. Sandow Media LLC. Retrieved 8 January 2012. 
  2. ^ Laffler, William (12 November 1965). "Coffee Breaks Cost Industry $4 Billion Yearly". The Daily Messenger. Retrieved 18 March 2016. Some think it began during World War II. Actually the coffee break began shortly after the beginning of the 20th Century. Associated Industries of New York state reports the coffee break originated in 1902 at the Barcalo Manufacturing Co. 'in Juffalo, the nation's oldest manufacturer of reclining chairs. Alban W. Kirton, retired vice president of Barcalo, told UPI recently that in those days there were no automobiles and men ana women hail to get to work by riding a bicycle or trolley. Suggests Coffee Break They usually were at work at 8 o'clock in the morning, Kirton recalled. 'Lunch Hime at 12:30 p.m. seemed a pretty long stretch off, so one of the men suggested having a break for coffee at 10 a.m.," Kirton said. 'A 'mid-afternoon break also helped to tide us over to dinner. 

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