Saturday, February 24, 2018

They Don't Make 'Em Like This Anymore

Our daughter, otherwise known as Chicken Mama, is the historian in our family, and I asked her this past week the year in which Papa Pea's paternal grandparents were married.

She reminded me that she's never been able to find that particular information although she knows the dates of their births and deaths, and the pertinent dates of their three children of whom Papa Pea's father was the eldest.

Here's the little story that led me to wondering when they were married.

Right after we were married in 1963, Papa Pea's grandfather died.  His wife then broke up housekeeping and went to live with her oldest daughter.

We had very little in the way of our own furniture (matter of fact, we were renting a furnished house at the time), so when we were offered Papa Pea's grandparents' set of six kitchen chairs, we readily accepted.

The reason I wanted to know the year these grandparents were married is that we were told they received the six chairs as a wedding present.  As close as we can guesstimate, we think they were probably married around 1904.  That would make the chairs approximately 114 years old now.

This summer we will have been married fifty-five years and are still using these very same chairs around our kitchen table.


Several of the chairs have had minor repairs made to them over the years, as was again necessary this past week.


After all this time, they're still just about the most comfortable straight-backed chairs I've ever sat in, and I hope we can keep them serviceable for many more years.

Wouldn't it be interesting to know how much this set of six wonderful chairs cost that many years ago? 

24 comments:

Vintage Maison said...

how lovely to have these family heirloom chairs!

Mama Pea said...

Vintage Maison - Yes, it is lovely to have them . . . and that they are so usable!

The Wykeham Observer said...

They sure don't make them like this anymore, certainly not as beautiful. You have taken good care of them.

beth s said...

A comfortable kitchen chair is one of my favorite perches. Yes...It would be fun to know their history!

Michelle said...

I'm impressed that all they've needed is minor repairs. Our four dining room chairs were purchased new in 1990 (I think), and have needed LOTS of repairs. One is now beyond repair....

Lisa B said...

Oooo I'm interested in the marriage date mystery. Are there any old Bibles around with dates entered? It's fun to explore family history.

Mama Pea said...

Thanks, Phil. I know you know your furniture!

Mama Pea said...

So good to hear from you, Beth!

Yes, I'm often more comfortable in a straight-back chair than in an upholstered one. I think that's because my legs are too short to reach the ground in many bigger "stuffed" chairs!

Mama Pea said...

Michelle - I think your chairs have done well to have lasted (for the most part!) for nearly thirty years. For "newer" construction, that's pretty good!

Mama Pea said...

Lisa - No, we don't have the old family Bible, but we do know the city they lived in all their lives, so we're thinking if we could find an obituary in one of the city's papers (for Papa Pea's grandfather who died in 1963) it might list the year in which he was married. Gotta work on that.

Kristina said...

It would be interesting to know the price. I just read a hospital bill from a woman who gave birth back in the 50's. Wow. The list was super short, prices super low. Times sure have changed.

wisps of words said...

Shows, that well made old furniture, lasts.

Interesting how she was not able to find the marriage date...

We will be married 60 years, this Nov. :-) You youngin's you!!! :-)

The Wykeham Observer said...

I think your guess of 1904 would be pretty close, because these chairs have some bentwood features.

Mama Pea said...

Phil - Thank you! Appreciate your take on them. :o}

Mama Pea said...

Kristina - Yes, times sure have changed. And the value of our dollar isn't nearly what it used to be, unfortunately.

Mama Pea said...

wisps of words - Advance congratulations on your 60 year marriage! Keep going strong . . . we'll see if we can keep up with you!!!

tpals said...

I think that's the best type of antique; not a showpiece but something used as intended. Major difference between today's mass-produced and yesterday's craftsmanship.

MrsDuncanMahogany said...

Gorgeous chairs! I wonder if you posted the photo of just the chair onto a retro furniture site you would probably get an answer fairly quick. My son has done the same for us with a few antiques we have and we usually get an accurate response fairly quickly.

Mama Pea said...

tpals - Unfortunately, I think we discourage craftsmanship today. How can truly beautiful, hand-crafted articles (of any kind) compete on the market with mass-produced, although inferior, goods?

Mama Pea said...

MrsDM - Very good idea if we decide to follow through on getting a firm date on the chairs. Thanks!

gld said...

They are very beautiful. I bet not many people can say that they are using chairs that old. I am happy to see Papa Pea is keeping them going and looking so good.

Mama Pea said...

Thanks, Glenda. They've never been refinished. I just wipe the dust off the rungs every now and then!

Sandy Livesay said...

Mama Pea,

What an awesome gift. 114 years of age, and your still using the dining room set. Furniture made today won't last ten years. It's made cheaply, and designed to be replaced.

Hugs and love,
Sandy

Rain said...

Hi Mama Pea :) Those chairs are great, and wow...114 years old. You are so right, they do NOT make them like they used to. We've talked before about the quality of goods nose-diving the last few decades...it's a shame.