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The stool was made in April 1772, at least two years before Robert Campbell registered his patent for Library Steps. According to the accounts of Nostell Priory, a similar Library Step Stool was also supplied by Chippendale in 1767, seven years


before Campbell‟s patent (Boynton & Goodison, 1969). 28 Plate XXII in William Ince & John Mayhew‟s „The Universal System of Household Furniture‟ published between 1759-1763 shows a collapsible ladder described as „being contrived (for little room) to fold up‟. Some furniture historians believe that this Ladder – a wooden pole that opens up to reveal a ladder – was originally designed to be carried on the roof of a stagecoach. The ladder would be opened up to access


the baggage that was typically carried on the roof of the coach. 29 The „chair-table‟ was also known as a „table-chair‟ and a „table-chairwise‟. 30 Although these chairs could not be transformed into a full bed, it was possible to


lower the back of each chair from an upright to a semi-reclined position. 31 A prie-dieu was an armchair with under-seat storage for religious books. 32 This estimate is based on an extrapolation of the chairs passing through the trade


and the number of genuine chairs that are known to exist in the collections of the National Trust, English Heritage, The Royal Collection and other recorded sources. There are many Victorian copies in circulation and this creates the impression that


there are many more. 33 In the Morning Chronicle of February 4, 1850 it was estimated that there were eight thousand cabinet-makers and upholsterers in London. In the same newspaper a few days later the number for 1831 was estimated at over six thousand (Kirkham, 1988, p. 4). This represents an increase of one hundred cabinet-makers per year over a twenty year period. Assuming a similar rate of growth in the preceding thirty


years there would be approximately three thousand at the turn of the century. 34 According to Ralph Edwards (1964, p. 172) the first reference to „chayre-makers‟ appears during the sixteenth century and this specialised branch of the furniture


industry had evolved from earlier trading disputes between joiners and carpenters. 35 The major impact of the Industrial Revolution on furniture manufacturing was the introduction of cutting and planning machines to prepare the timber. The first circular saw for cutting planks was patented in 1805 and hand-tools were used to make furniture until the end of the nineteenth century.


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