Who Invented the Swivel Chair? [When, How & Why]

Did you know that the person who invented the swivel chair was a US president that wanted to create something that would be comfortable for people to sit in all day long? Have you ever asked yourself when was swivel chair invented first?

The swivel chair was invented by Thomas Jefferson in 1776. He wanted to create a chair that would be comfortable and easy to sit in, but would also be easy to get out of. He spent years working on the design of the swivel chair and allegedly drafted the United States Declaration of Independence in a swivel chair prototype. 

In the following paragraphs, we’ll cover this topic in more detail and you’ll know everything about the invention of the swivel chair. Let’s see.

Who Invented the Swivel Chair?

Who Invented the Swivel Chair?

When Thomas Jefferson was 33, he had a lot on his mind. He was a member of the Committee of Five men and had been assigned to draft the Declaration of Independence.

The creator of the Declaration of Independence Thomas Jefferson, as many great people do, was full of contradictions.

During the drafting of the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia, Jefferson was dissatisfied with his Windsor armchair.

He believed that the chair did not allow him enough movement, so he resolved to create a new chair that did.

To do this, he added an iron spindle between the seat and back of the chair so that it could rotate on rollers taken from window sash pulleys.

As the person who invented the swivel chair, Thomas Jefferson made several changes to his original design for the swivel chair, including replacing the original legs with bamboo and adding a writing surface to one of the arms.

The chair had no wheels. 

When the Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia, it’s said that Jefferson sat on his swivel chair when he drafted the United States Declaration of Independence in 1776.

Jefferson, who got the unofficial title ‘inventor of swivel chair’, later had the swivel chair sent to his Virginia plantation, Monticello.

Swivel Chair Invented President 

Thomas Jefferson was a man of many talents. He was the third US president, and he also served as the lead author of the Declaration of Independence.

It wasn’t an all-out pure invention from the ground up, but what he did was groundbreaking, especially for that time.

He purchased an English-style Windsor chair from a cabinet maker in Philadelphia. 

The Windsor chairs are typical timber chairs where the back slats and legs are placed into holes in the seat.

Clearly, such seats are as comfortable as such seats can be, but maneuverability is rather restrictive. 

So Jefferson took it upon himself to make the seat more workable, and office-friendly.

What he did was modify the seat by placing a spindle between the top and bottom parts of it. By doing this he becomes the inventor of the swivel chair.

The actual construction of the chair is pretty simple; it’s similar to many other types of chairs that were around at the time.

It has a wooden seat with holes for legs, and slats for support. A spindle was placed between the two parts of the seat, allowing it to move easily.

Did Thomas Jefferson Invent the Swivel Chair?

Even though it seems that presidents are too busy and have smarter things to do, sometimes they act like normal humans and try to make their everyday life easier.

Thomas Jefferson was an inventive and practical man.

He was imaginative and wanted to make his working day more productive so he gave a small gift to humanity and office-working people when he invented the office task chair. 

When Was the Swivel Chair Invented? 

Since the Windsor chair didn’t have wheels, it was pretty uncomfortable.

It offered little movement, which made it hard to write something as significant as the Declaration of Independence. 

Thomas Jefferson, who was a skilled cabinet maker, saw this problem. In 1774, he decided to take action.

Jefferson had been trying to find a way to make the Windsor more comfortable and mobile since then.

So, he started working on his task chair design. After a while, Thomas Jefferson invented and promoted office chair designs and spread the word about classic office chairs across the US.

Jefferson brought his invention back home to Monticello in Virginia in 1776. This year is taken as the year when was the swivel chair invented.

The American Philosophical Society of Philadelphia has had Jefferson’s swivel chair since 1836.

Where Was Swivel Chair Invented? 

There are many theories when it comes to the place where the swivel chairs are invented.

Some sources say that Jefferson got the idea when he was in Europe, in France and England. 

Others say that for a place of invention of the swivel chair we should take Philadelphia since when the Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia.

Jefferson’s swivel chair is purported to be the chair he sat upon when he drafted the United States Declaration of Independence in 1776.

Jefferson later had the swivel chair sent to his Virginia plantation, Monticello.

How Does Swivel Chairs Work?

When Was the Swivel Chair Invented? 

Swivel chairs are designed to offer you more freedom in the way you sit, allowing you to move around in all directions.

These are the best ways to ensure you’re always in a comfortable position. They allow for 360-degree rotation so that you can find the perfect angle for every situation.

When sitting on a swivel chair, you’re not only balancing your own weight but also the weight of both arms and legs that are now distributed around the central axis point (the pivot or fulcrum).

Sitting in a swivel chair is similar to how you would balance on a pilates ball.

A swivel chair is great for avoiding back pain! The fulcrum point is in front of your hips, so you’ll have to lean forward and use a console on either side of the armrest.

This means that only about 25% of your weight is supported by your back muscles.

Your arms also take some work off from how it would be if you were reclining in a stationary position; this makes sitting upright much easier!

Swivel chairs are great for office workers. They allow you to move around the office and find the perfect angle for everything from typing on your computer to talking to colleagues.

How To Stop Swivel Chair From Moving?

Many swivel chairs have bases that are just a little bit wider than the pole.

If your chair is sliding across the floor, you can place a rubber wedge under the base to create a grippy seal. Hammer the wedge gently into place so it creates a seal.

How To Stop Swivel Office Chair From Swiveling?

To stop your recliner from swiveling, adjust the screws at the base of the chair.

Some recliner models feature a swivel function that lets you rotate the chair by using your feet. This feature is useful for changing the direction of your chair.

How To Make a Swivel Recliner Stationery?

If you want to turn a swivel chair into a stationary one, drill through both the top and bottom plates with a drill bit made for metal.

Then insert a screw. This will lock your seat so it doesn’t swivel, creating a stationery stool.

Convert Swivel Chair to Stationery

To make an office chair stationary, place the chair on its back so that the wheels are off the floor and facing you.

Remove all wheels. Glue on protective padding to the chair legs. You can get pre-cut felt, cork, or rubber pads, or get a sheet and cut it to size. The padding will protect the floor from damage.

Benefits of Swivel Chairs

Swivel chairs are great for those who work in a busy office. The chair has been designed to provide the user with maximum comfort so that they can work longer and concentrate better.

Here are some of the benefits of swivel chairs:

  • User-Friendly

Swivel chairs are easy to use and have ergonomic features that make them ideal for all users.

They also have built-in controls that make it easy to adjust their height or tilt, as required.

This feature makes these chairs suitable for people with disabilities or back problems who need special care while working.

  • Improves productivity

Swivel chairs help improve productivity by encouraging people to sit properly and keep their backs straight while working on a computer.

This reduces fatigue and muscle aches caused by slouching over keyboards for long hours at a stretch.

If you’re looking for ways to increase your productivity levels at work, then getting yourself a swivel chair might be just what you need!

  • Comfortable

Swivel chairs are comfortable!

Most models come with adjustable armrests, which allow users to position them according to their needs and preferences – whether they want more room for elbows or prefer having them close by for support during long working hours.

History of the Swivel Chair 

The swivel chair is a staple of American history, and it’s as intertwined with our national identity as the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and Thomas Jefferson.

The swivel chair was invented as a way to make sitting more comfortable. Before it was invented, people sat on stools and chairs that didn’t move.

But after the invention of this new type of chair, sitting became much more relaxed and comfortable.

Jefferson was inspired by a chair he saw while visiting France. He was so impressed with its design that he decided to create one for himself upon returning home.

He wanted something that would allow him to work at his desk without being tied down to it for long periods of time.

The first swivel chair Jefferson made in 1776. Later he had the swivel chair sent to his Virginia plantation, Monticello.

Types of Swivel Chairs Today

Swivel chairs come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Types of swivel chairs today can be divided into 4 main groups:

  1. Traditional swivel chair—Traditional swivel chairs are very versatile and can be used for many different purposes. They’re great for home use, as well as in offices and other workplaces.

  2. Office swivel chair—This type of chair is ideal for people who work in an office environment or anywhere else where they need to sit down all day long.
  • High-back swivel chair—These chairs are great for anyone who wants to feel like they’re sitting in an executive office chair but doesn’t want to pay the price tag that comes with an expensive leather office chair.
  • Kids swivel chair—If you have children, then you know how important it is to have a comfortable place for them to sit while they do their homework or just relax and play video games after school.

Who Invented the Rolling Office Chair?

Rolling office chairs are popular today, but who invented the rolling office chair? The rolling office chair was invented by a man named James A. Ferris in 1879.

He was an American engineer who received a patent for his invention on March 9, 1880.

His design featured a seat and back made of wood, which was connected by steel rods to form an X shape.

Ferris’ design was improved upon by another American inventor, Orin Seyfert, who patented his own version of the rolling office chair in 1901.

Seyfert’s design featured a wooden seat and back that were connected by metal tubing instead of steel rods. He also changed the way the wheels were attached to the chair frame so that they would roll more smoothly over uneven surfaces like carpeting or tile floors.


Which president invented the swivel chair and the dumbwaiter?

The president who invented the swivel chair was Thomas Jefferson. He was also responsible for inventing the dumbwaiter.

Why did Jefferson invent the swivel chair?

Jefferson invented the swivel chair because he was tired of sitting in a fixed position for long periods. He wanted to be able to turn around and look at his guests when they were speaking with him.

Why do office chairs swivel?

Office chairs swivel so that you can move around your office, easily and quickly. Maybe you need to get up and move over to your computer. Or maybe you only need to turn around to talk to a coworker.


To sum up, the first swivel chair was invented long before you would be able to walk straight.

Since Thomas Jefferson up to these days, different types of chairs have developed, but the most important is to choose the one that fits your back.

Now that you know the history of swivel chairs, sit down, get comfy and enjoy your new swivel chair.

But if you still have any questions about who invented the swivel chair, feel free to leave a comment and I’ll respond quickly.