Swivel chair

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A swivel chair with a pump to raise and lower the seat.

A swivel or revolving chair is a chair with a single central leg that allows the seat to rotate 360 degrees to the left or right.


Swivel chairs may have wheels on the base allowing the user to move the chair around their work area without getting up. This type is common in modern offices and are often also referred to as office chairs. Office swivel chairs, like computer chairs, usually incorporate a gas lift to adjust the height of the seat, but not usually large (e.g. recliner) swivelling armchairs.

A draughtsman's chair is a swivel chair without wheels that is usually taller than an 'office chair' for use in front of a drawing board. They also have a foot-ring to support the legs when it is not possible to reach the ground.


An old swivel chair

Using an English-style Windsor chair, possibly made by and purchased from Francis Trumble or Philadelphia cabinet-maker Benjamin Randolph, Thomas Jefferson invented the first swivel chair.[1][2][3][4] Jefferson heavily modified the Windsor chair and incorporated top and bottom parts connected by a central iron spindle, enabling the top half known as the seat, to swivel on casters of the type used in rope-hung windows. When the Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia, Jefferson's swivel chair is purported to be where he drafted the United States Declaration of Independence in 1776. Jefferson later had the swivel chair sent to his Virginia plantation, Monticello, where he later built a "writing paddle" onto its side in August 1791.

Since 1869, the chair has been in the possession of the American Philosophical Society located in Philadelphia.[5]

In systems integration[edit]

In Systems Integration, the term swivel chair is frequently[citation needed] used to describe a manual interface, where a human user re-keys information from one computer system to another.


  1. ^ Born in the USA: The Book of American Origins. Sky Horse Publishing Inc. 
  2. ^ Thomas Jefferson- Scientist. Bonnier Corporation. p. 19. 
  3. ^ Thomas Jefferson. Heinemann-Raintree Classroom. p. 12. 
  4. ^ Materials Chemistry. Springer. 
  5. ^ "WWriting Chairs" (PDF). Gregory Le Fever.  Office Chairs