Thursday, December 5, 2013

Ackermann's Obsession

Rudolph Ackermann was an interesting man with a mechanical mind. Born in Germany in 1764, he hoped to go to university, but was prevented from doing so by lack of money. Instead, he followed his father's trade as a saddle-maker, and eventually set up his own saddle-making and coach-building business. Moving to London in 1795, he began a printing business and art instruction school. Setting up a lithographic press, he sold popular prints, selling artists' materials on the side. He was always tweaking his machines and materials, which resulted in the most lovely prints of his time. You can compare his products with other fashion prints of the day, and Ackermann wins every time. 

Ackermann was fascinated with the latest developments in carriage-building and included the newest vehicles in the Repository, complete with diagrams of the mechanical aspects. He patented a new mechanism for front wheels, the Ackermann Steering Geometry. A look through his furniture selection reveals his interest in mechanical and multi-functional pieces. Desks or dressing tables folded out, revealing all sorts of spaces for filing and storage. Chairs reclined, folded up, rolled on wheels, or included writing surfaces. All that was missing was a cup holder! I can imagine him living today, producing fabulous computer work centers and amazing storage systems. 
1824 dressing table
Dolly and Minerva have bought a new combination lounge chair and writing desk for Father's birthday. I think he could also use it for house calls from the dentist, chiropractor, or massage therapist! Little Horatio has his own use for it.

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