Martin Cranes ducktapecovered LaZBoy on Fraiser.

The Everlasting Appeal of the La-Z-Boy Recliner

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Although La-Z-Boy is to the recliner what Kleenex is to the tissue, the brand didn’t start off making the plush chairs that likely come to mind. During the mid-1920s, cousins Edward M. Knabusch and Edwin J. Shoemaker founded Floral City Furniture Company in Monroe, Michigan, and began producing novelty furniture like the “Gossiper,” a piece which allowed people to sit, phone, and store things. Next came a chair for “nature’s way of relaxing,” which was a wood-slat folding chair that followed the contour of a person’s body, both sitting and leaning back. In refining the porch chair concept and listening to the voice of consumers, the indoor recliner came next. This 1929 invention was so iconic that it eventually led to the name change of the company (other contenders like Sit-N-Snooze, Slack-Back, and Comfort Carrier were considered), and the image of a cushy seat burned in your mind: the upholstered La-Z-Boy recliner.

Nearly a hundred years later, the La-Z-Boy recliner has hardly wavered as a favorite across the country. Even more so, the chair has maintained a place in memory, nostalgia, and popular culture. “If you quiz a room of people, I know you would come across several [people] that have stories to share of it in their grandparent’s house, or in their parent’s house, or a chair that they took to college with them,” says Christy. “La-Z-Boy shows up in culture. It has this emotional power and life of its own.” The recliner has been featured on Friends, Frasier, Stranger Things, but also on podcasts and late night shows.

Martin Crane’s ducktape-covered La-Z-Boy on Fraiser.

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