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31 Comments

  1. Bill Prince says:

    I just ran across the Leg-O-Matic chairs. Very cool mechanism, patented in the 1930s by John Kovats. Many people worked at the Lorraine Manufacturing factory for many years, as per obits that I saw from Bridgeport Ct. Some for 30 and 40 yrs!. All gone now, and the building is a Detroit looking ruin. So sad, that all of that is how forgotten history.

    Anyway, I bought two blonde color chairs from 1957. I might have over paid, at $146 including shipping, but they are very nice and have perfect labels. I saw a video of one, must be very rare, chair with folding armrests. Bad quality video, but I got the idea of sort of how the armrests worked, so I designed and made armrests for one of my two chairs. They turned out rather good. I may add upholstery to the armrests to raise their height and for comfort. Love these chairs and plan on taking them to some cruise nights with my antique cars, like my 1957 Ford Skyliner. They fold so small (small chairs to begin with), that I think I can fit two in the small luggage “tub” in the truck of my Skyliner even with the top down.

    It would be cool to know more about John Kovats, and the Lorraine Co. aka Leg-O-Matic Co., or Lorraine Novelty Co. – several names. Some in Bridgeport Ct, and some on 5th, and 4th Ave in NY, NY. Not sure where the exact factory for the chairs was located. Bill Prince Sept. 25, 2021

    1. Lora Bloomquist says:

      Thanks for all the additional information, Bill! They are engineered so well, and they’re perfectly compact. Think they were initially used in vintage campers. After hearing what you got yours for, I should have probably sold mine for quite a bit more!

  2. Hi! I love what you did with your chairs! I just got a set of Leg O Matic chairs and one of the chair’s back legs are a bit wobbly. I’m not sure what to do to fix it or if there’s a way to tighten it somehow and was hoping you might have some insight!

    Thank you!

    Nancy

    1. Lora Bloomquist says:

      Lucky you for finding a set, Nancy! I would say just tighten up all the screws that you can see and that will probably do the trick. Unless the wood legs are cracked or something? I think once you re-do the seats and get everything tightened up, you’ll be able to enjoy them for many years! They don’t make folding chairs like that anymore!

      1. Hi Lora! Thanks for your reply! They sure don’t! I love all your projects! And they sure don’t make these amazing chairs anymore, so I’ll try to figure out what the issue is to salvage these treasures! Thanks again!

  3. Lora, your party sure is going to have the best vintage seating around! These came up adorable and the fabric is just a perfect update, wish I could find a set of these to go with my wood folding card table! Thanks for sharing at #FridaysFurnitureFix!

  4. Great redo! I just bought a set of 4 for $10.00. Lucky me!

    1. Thanks, Cecilia! I am enjoying the gardens quite a bit more now that I don’t have a store;)

  5. Shorewest Realtors says:

    I remember from years ago, people would write stollen from ( name) on their OWN items, to identify them. so it’s very likely that Belle wrote that herself. Love these chairs!

    1. Thanks for clearing up that mystery & sharing a little history that I didn’t know about! Now if I ever find anything else that says stolen from, I’ll know!

  6. I have a set of these. I knew we were “junk sisters” for a reason;)!

  7. Those chairs are awesome Lora! Love the fabric you chose. It’s so fun and goes so well with the maple wood. I love the stolen inscription. Gives them an air of history and mystery.

  8. These chairs are amazing!! New-to-me, too 🙂 Great refresh and how-to tips, Lora, and that fabric! Love it. You’re going to have the world’s best seating at your graduation party–

  9. You are the Queen of sniffing out amazing vintage chairs. These are awesome and especially that you found so many of them! So glad you kept the original maple and just love the vibrant print on the fabric!

    1. Thanks, Marie! Was actually going to use that fabric for something else, but it looked so great with the maple wood!

  10. I’m glad you didn’t paint them! Sometimes, it is nice to keep things in their original finish. Although I LOVE painting furniture, haha! I bet that “Stolen from Belle Good” was put there so that if anyone took them from Belle Good, everyone would know it was stolen!

    1. Thanks, Cait! Hadn’t thought of that angle on the “stolen” note; could totally be that!

      1. Kimberly in NC says:

        I second what Cait said. My first thought was that Belle Good must’ve been a funny or at least sarcastic lady who didn’t want her chairs to go missing. I bet she never thought pictures of her handwritten claiming would one day be posted where people across the world could see! Too funny!

        1. I love how you ladies have totally filled in the mystery story for me! Kinda like a who-done-it, junker version;)

      2. haha! It reminded me of the chairs we would borrow from churches or schools for events!

  11. Thanks, Debra! I loved how the fabric coordinated with the croquet colors. Could just picture the whole scene for some vintage camping!

  12. The chairs are such a great find. And I like the little bit of history. You did a wonderful update on them. The design of the chairs are classic and the upholstery brings them to today’s look.