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The History of Beds in Boxes

Almost all U.S. bedding manufacturers offer at least one boxed bed option. While this isn’t surprising now, the idea seemed quite radical nearly twenty years ago, when the first Bed-in-a-Box® prototype was developed. Back in 2004, a machine builder named Bill Bradley in Johnson City, Tennessee, wanted to engineer a queen-size mattress that would compress into a box that companies like FedEx® and UPS® would accept. Bradley had the machinery know-how to make it happen, but he needed to collaborate with a foam producer and reached out to NCFI in nearby Mount Airy, North Carolina, for assistance. Chris Bradley — no relation — of NCFI (one of our current and original U.S. foam producers to certify foams through the CertiPUR-US® program) remembers taking that phone call. “Bill hadn’t had any luck getting other foam producers to bite and it sounded pretty wild and crazy, but I figured I’d drive down to Johnson City and check out what he was doing for myself.” That drive on a longshot to Tennessee turned out to be the beginning of a decades-long productive relationship and the origins of the shipping mattresses in boxes direct to consumer concept that became an industry-wide phenomenon. In [...]

By |2022-05-05T07:10:44-04:00November 18, 2021|

The History of Recliners: They Go Waaay Back

The evolution of recliners has been extraordinary in the past few decades, with designs to suit every décor and space.  The modern recliner can change multiple positions at the push of a button, charge your laptop, warm and massage your aching muscles, and even help you stand up. What’s not to love? The recliner earned its seat of honor following a long and noble path around the globe that dates back thousands of years. From royalty to dentistry, wretched excess to wrenching extraction, this special chair has seen it all. Here’s a salute to the not-so-humble history of the recliner: Peel me a grape. History’s first recliners may have belonged to the ancient Egyptians, whose lavish banquets took lounging to an art form. They wined and dined on daybeds called “klines” with intricately carved legs depicting animals, cushions, armrests, and headboards. During her 44-year reign, Queen Elizabeth I used a “stool” with a tasseled pillow to support her royal feet and spring mechanism that reclined in several positions. Monarchs such as King Philip II of Spain and Charles I of England enjoyed “sleeping chairs” with adjustable backs. Even the well-traveled Napoleon III used a portable, upholstered, reclining camp bed [...]

By |2021-08-19T09:08:21-04:00March 4, 2021|

7 Surprising Facts about Chairs

I just love “Chairman Tut,” a sculpture by the artist Larry Morris because it speaks to the creative process (often born of discomfort!) and also illustrates that chairs may well be one of man’s greatest inventions—certainly a vast improvement over nature’s chairs, such as the logs, tree stumps and rocks used by our early ancestors. In his book “Now I Sit Me Down,” which is an appreciation of the chair and its 5,000-year history, architect Witold Rybczynski notes, “The way we choose to sit, and what we choose to sit on, says a lot about us: our values, our tastes, the things we hold dear.” Consider these seven facts about the fascinating history of the chair: Seating styles differ around the world. More than 100 distinct seating postures have been identified worldwide. For example, some cultures have a strong preference for squatting, kneeling or sitting on mats on the floor. In China, chair backs often have a 45-degree angle, as opposed to Western chairs with straight backs or slight reclines. Each of these culturally dictated postures has informed the development of chair styles as well as our muscles—which is why people used to floor-sitting may choose to sit on [...]

By |2020-02-24T07:13:57-05:00February 19, 2020|
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