source:liveauctioneers.comThese gossip chairs were designed to help people speak into each other's ear I guess(lol). What started out like this happend to take a different form once the civilized world was introduced telephony. If I were to compile a story on Gossip benches, say another decade from now, I would have to start with saying something like this -
There was once a time when telephones were not portable, you were restricted to sit at one place. Men went to work and women had a lot of time on hand. Living in small communities and cities made it possible for them to know everything and anything about everyone around them. (lol). Leave alone multiple connections, each house had a single line with restricted mobility. Initial instruments were attached to the wall.
source: Photo courtesy Walt Aydelotte, telephonearchive.com
Technological improvements brought the instrument off the wall and onto a small table! (reminds me of the vintage dial instruments!!).
This was when a very smart carpenter came up with this idea of combining seating with a slot/space for the telephone. He must have thanked Graham Bell for his invention .....;-). I have been saving up a few pictures for my collection. Unique pieces of furniture which were invented for a particular purpose have always fascinated me. Gossip benches seemed like a perfect piece to start a series of posts on unique furniture pieces. We can find a wide range of styles, shapes and sizes to suit differ decors and themes. I noticed that Vintage, Victorian themed decor seems incomplete without a gossip bench in place.
source: stacksandstacks.comA piece from the late 1920s, Oak Gossip Phone Bench - Rare Deluxe model having Leather rails and seat.
source: dealersmarketusa.comA beautifully upholstered bench with two draws for storage
Clean line danish style piece with two open shelves and vinyl seats
Mission (Early American style)
A classy 1940's piece
Not sure of the style, but I loved this simple piece with a little craved back and shelf
A vintage solid wood Danish modern style with a cubby hole style shelf
Source: craigslista sectional/side view of the piece
A mahogany bench with a door concealing an area for storing phone books
This retro style teal upholstered piece could be used as an accent chair as well..
A Cane lover could never overlook this piece. The back and table top have beautiful caning done.
Solid Mahogany Gossip Bench with a pull out chair. Would work well as a corner chair or an entryway/foyer piece. Dated: 1950's
This is how it looks with the chair pulled out
A victorian style Captain chair model gossip bench at its best!!
There are a few pieces like these which could work well as coffee tables as well...
There are a quite a few interesting styles. I chose to put up only vintage pieces which I loved. But for the space constraint, I would love to pick the available from a local craigslister!!