Nothing incites the general public more than someone trying to charge for something that was once free. Yet that’s exactly what entrepreneur Oscar F. Spate tried to do in the New York City parks in the blistering summer of 1901. It all started in Central Park on June 22, 1901, when a group of people spotted rows of bright green rocking chairs along the park’s mall, near the casino. Usually in this same spot, stood rows of uncomfortable wooden hard benches, so it was a pleasure indeed for the park-goes to sit and rock and enjoy the wondrous summer day.
Finally, on July 11, a hero named Max Radt, the vice-president of the Jefferson State Bank, went into state Supreme Court and got an injunction forbidding Spate and the Park Commission from charging people to sit in Spate’s green rocking chairs. Spate, realizing he was a beaten man, promptly put all his chairs in storage. A few days later, Spate announced to the press he was ”abandoning his project.”
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When it comes to office chairs, there is no one size fits all solution. The right chair choice for an individual depends on a variety of factors such as height, weight, pre-existing pains or ailments, level of support needed, the height of the desk the chair will be fitting under, and more. As made evident, it can get somewhat difficult figuring out which chair will be the right fit for you, especially if you are on the taller side. If an individual is over six feet tall, even executive high back chairs may not provide the necessary back support which may lead to upper back neck and neck pain. There is also the seat depth that is an area for concern for taller individuals. If the seat is not long enough to fit the users thighs, this will not allow for correct sitting posture and will put more pressure on the knees and thighs. In order to avoid unnecessary pain and better yet, an unnecessary purchase, it is important if you are taller to determine which kind of office chair is going to work best for you. The term used to describe chairs for taller individuals is simply known in the office furniture industry as ”tall office chairs”, and it is a good place to start especially if your search will be taking place online.
As I reflected on this pastor’s statement, a couple of thoughts came to my mind. One is that his statement was a very personal one that indicated a preference that was important to him and was a value I needed to honor. An additional thought though was about what actually makes a chair a ”church chair”. Here is an expansion on those thoughts with three observations as to what really is needed for a chair to be labeled a ”church chair”.
As the crowd converged on the chairs, people who had already paid for the right to sit, abandoned the chairs and fled from the park. One of Spate’s man quit his job on the spot, and he also fled the park. However, another one of Spate’s men continued to try to collect the chair fees. But he quit his job too after an angry old lady jabbed him in the back of the neck with a hairpin. On Monday July 8th, Madison Square Park was the site of almost constant rioting. A dozen or so boys went from chair to chair, sitting for as long as they pleased, accompanied by an unruly crowd threatening to hang any of Spate’s men who tried to collect any fees. A brave and foolhardy Spate employee named Otto Berman slapped one boy in the face. The crowd surrounded Berman and his life was saved by six policemen, who bum-rushed Berman out of the park and into safety. Things had gotten so-out-of-control in Madison Square Park, police reenforcement were called in from the nearby West Thirtieth Street police station.