Chairs come in all sorts of strange shapes. Although this is largely for aesthetic purposes, there are many specialist chairs with bizarre designs that serve a practical purpose. Sit back in your beanbag, ball chair, or atop your barstool and enjoy this article about four strange chairs and their interesting uses. Just don’t get too comfortable – some of these seats are less than relaxing!

Dental Chairs

The wonderfully named Josiah Flagg invented the first true dental chair in 1790. This design was essentially a regular drawing chair with attachments for tools grafted onto the side. Modern chairs for dentistry are fully adjustable and reclinable and usually connect to a supply of compressed air or electricity for the powering of drills and pumps.

Chairs are one of the many types of equipment available to practitioners who wish to buy their dental supplies online. No dentist’s surgery would be complete without a modern adjustable chair – the sight of which strikes fear into many a person’s heart.

Electric Chairs

Perhaps the most chilling chair ever conceived, the electric chair was invented by workers plying their trade with Thomas Edison in the 1880s. Edison himself actually wanted to see the death penalty abolished, but he reasoned that until it was, the electric chair would be the most humane way of carrying out such a punishment. He was proven wrong. The electric chair could, in theory, kill somebody quickly. In practice, deaths on the chair were often drawn out and agonising. The operation of the machine, as well as the condition of the chair and the prisoner, had to be perfect if it was to kill without causing incredible suffering. There is no humane way to kill a person against their will. The electric chair was doomed to fail from the start.

Ejection Seats

Ejection seats serve the opposite purpose to the electric chair – they save lives. Ejection seats are installed in high-speed jets. If a jet is in danger of crashing or if it has been shot down, the pilot can pull a chord (or, in some cases, a mask-like tag that covers the face) and set the ejection process in motion.

The ejection process is extremely violent. First, the canopy of the aircraft is blown off. Secondly, a rocket motor underneath the chair ignites, sending the pilot hurtling out of the aircraft. The rocket is necessary because the pilot needs to be able to get clear of the stricken plane as it shoots past. It is not uncommon for pilots to break bones at this stage. Thirdly, a parachute is deployed, and the pilot drifts down to the ground – hopefully surviving the descent. Ejection seats have saved countless lives.

Tennis Umpire Chairs

Nothing is more absurd to behold than a pasty-faced tennis umpire dictating a game from his tall chair like some kind of goblin king. Umpire chairs look like something between a step ladder and a lawn chair. Raised off the ground, the elevated seat allows the umpire to clearly view the tennis court and players.

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