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.
Once you have determined the type of desk chair you need, you will then want to look at the features you will want included in your chair, including the option of casters or glides. Most office chairs come standard with rolling casters which allow you to move quickly and efficiently from one spot to another. Chairs that have glides are stationary, meaning they do not move unless you pick the chair up yourself. A desk chair with glides would be ideal for extended height applications where your work station is higher than a typical desk and you need a steady chair to work on your projects. Many architects, artists, painters, and lab personnel opt for this style of seating as their work requires them to sit still. Some chairs also come with the option of having pressure breaking casters, which lock to prevent movement while you work whenever pressure is exerted on the wheels.
Armless chairs also have a smaller footprint making them great space-savers. Often when office chairs have arms there is the possibility that the chair may not fit properly under your desk which can lead to the hassle of having to return the chair if it does not work for your workplace. Having to measure your desk height along with finding the exact measurements of the chair’s seat, arm, and overall height can be tedious and difficult. Buying an armless office chair eliminates this hassle with their ability to fit underneath just about any work station or desk without having to worry about taking precise measurements.
This new phenomenon was covered extensively and very contentiously, in the following day’s daily New York City newspapers. And the man on the hot seat was the president of the Park Commission – one George C. Clausen. It seemed that a few days earlier, Clausen had been visited in his official Park Commission office by a man named Oscar F. Spate. Spate seemed amiable enough, and he offered Clausen a proposition Clausen saw no difficulty in accepting. It seemed that Spate said he wanted to place comfortable rocking chairs in the parks throughout New York City. And for the privilege of doing so, Spate offered the city the tidy sum of $500 a year.
Suddenly, two broad-shouldered men approached the rocking-chair sitters. They wore identical gray suits and they carried black satchels with straps over their shoulders. The men in gray told the sitters that these were private chairs for rent, and that if they wanted to continue sitting they had to fork over five cents a day for the better seats, and three cents a day for seats that were not in as preferential a position in the park. Some people vacated their seats, but others paid. People who did neither were physically ejected from the seats. When they asked why, the men in gray said, ”Them’s Mr. Spate’s chairs.”