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Editor’s Note: This is one of an occasional series of features on the Tell City Historical Society Museum.
TELL CITY – The history of the Tell City Chair Co. Giant Boston Rocker dates back to 1958, Tell City’s Centennial year. Many hours of planning and labor were spent in the manufacturing of the giant size Boston rocker which was featured on the float entered in the “Decades of Time Parade” during the centennial. The rocker won first place. The rocker was completed May 30, 1958, after special made stencils needed to decorate it arrived.
It was designed to double the size of the extremely popular Boston rocker that the company produced. Approximately 93 feet of lumber were used to build it. It is seven feet tall with an overall width of four feet and weights 173 pounds. The seat is 40” wide and 38” deep and is large enough to accommodate three men.
The seat of a regular rocker is 15 inches high. On this rocker the seat is 30 inches in height from the floor. The back slat is nearly 12 inches wide and the legs are 31⁄4 inches in diameter.
The chair was designed by George Connor, an expert chair maker who had been an employee of the company for more than 36 years in 1958. He had been building samples for many years.
Harry Powell, also of the sample department, had much to do with the construction. He had been with the company for 44 years in 1958 and a sample maker for many years. The posts were turned by Norman Freeman, who also had been with the company for 12 years in 1958 and was in charge of their turning department. The three men had a total of 92 years of service with the Tell City Chair Co.
This is not the only Boston rocker. In all there were three made, one of which was stolen by fraternity students from a furniture store and destroyed during a police chase. As for the remaining two, Chris Cail owns one and the Tell City Historical Society Museum has the other on display.
The museum is open 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday afternoons and 6 to 8 most Wednesdays. Admission is free. Adult, junior and lifetime memberships are available. Also available are memorial bricks in three sizes, which will be placed near the entrance of the museum. Don’t forget the gift shop, in which many historical books, maps, DVDs and prints can be purchased for any gift-giving occasion.
For more information call (812) 619-6128.