Elastic Chair
Made by Samuel Gragg
Boston, Massachusetts, ca. 1808
Oak, hickory, beech
On loan from the Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, museum purchase, gift of Martha and William Steen

Trade card of Samuel Gragg
ca. 1808
Paper card glued to the inside of the patent
document (photographic reproduction)
On loan from the Carrier Library, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Virginia

Like other artisans of the era, Gragg used an engraved trade card to advertise his wares. The text emphasized the fact that his “patent chairs and settees” were made with “elastic backs and seats” in the “new, elegant, and superior style.” The illustration on the trade card highlights the patented curve of the Elastic Chair. Well aware of the diverse tastes of his Boston clientele, Gragg also manufactured other types of chairs.