Friday, February 24, 2012

Let's Identify: This Contour Chair-Lounge


Yeah, this is how I relax. In my jacket and tie with shoes on.

I've been seeing these on ebay for a few years now. I thought I needed one, but the prices seemed a little high to me. By the time you figure in shipping, or driving to pick it up and the cost of the chair-lounge it was just a bit outside of my budget.

But a week or two ago the MidCentury Stuff Force was with me. I saw this baby on ebay and its location was just a few miles from me. It had a Make Offer tab on it so I made an offer, it was accepted, and POOF! contour chair-lounge at my house.

It was my second purchase from this ebay seller. I bought a pair of pod chairs from him about a year ago that are still in the stack of things to be recovered.



Come inside and see mine.






So, Dave, it looks like you already know what this is. Why is it on a Let's Identify post?

Since you asked, it's because they made these things from the 1950s through the 1980s and I can't find an identification guide to determine how old mine is.

This one is in white with a pattern embossed into the fabric. It has tack heads showing all around, and its legs are white washed.

You'll have to excuse the clutter. We don't know where we're putting it yet.

I looked underneath to see if it had any tags. No dice. The dust cover allowed me to peek in and see "S" shaped leaf springs and some mechanicals, but there were no tags to be found.


It's very clean. No rips, no tears, and comfortable.

Seems like some of them don't have upholstered arms. They're just wooden. That's probably an indicator of age. Features like heat and vibrate must indicate age. Mine has vibrate, but no heat.


Controls for vibrate and position adjustment.

Could the fabric be an indicator of age? Or the tack heads? This one has a control that slides the chair on the frame into a reclining position.


It makes me feel like an astronaut when I'm in it.

Someone at some time has probably compiled an "Identify Your Contour Chair" fact sheet. If you know of one I'd love to hear about it. In the end it really doesn't matter to me what year this is from - I'm keeping it regardless. But I sure would like to know.
So any idea what year it might be?
We'll be back later with . . . more stuff.

30 comments:

  1. Hey Dave. I don't have a contour lounge chair, but I have reupholstered a few and developed a fondness for them. I don't know how old yours is but if it doesn't have a metal plate/tag, it has probably been recovered.
    I do know that they were made in St. Louis until the company was sold in the early '80's.(to Stratalounger I think)
    Art Linklater did T.V. Commercials for them promoting therapeutic qualities. They were actually made to order, with a salesman taking body measurements to make the chair to size. They ended up getting sued for charging seniors thousands of dollars for the chairs, and getting insurance/Medicare/Medicaid to pay based on the questionable "therapeutic" value. Keep digging on the intra-webs and you'll even find the old T.V. Commercials.
    Jeff

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    Replies
    1. do you have a manual for the mechanical parts, visual, and for fixing the vibrating system on one of these chairs. I bought one a while back and had it re-pholstered, but I want to re-wire it, and fix the vibrating system on it...there was no mechanical manual with it.... pls. advise either way, thx.

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    2. i just bought a red love seat style it is in new condition with a metal tag. the massager and the reclining motor works. yard sale find!

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    3. I have a very similiar chair, no mechanics, just a plain old manual chair.
      I would like to have it reupholstered. I live in Peachtree City, Ga. Could you give me a ball park figure for reupholstering. Thanks.

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    4. I just scored one of these chairs for $50 bucks!!! Can you tell me how much fabric I would need to reupholster it and how much I should spend doing so?? Thanks

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    5. According to this blog

      http://thriftedsisters.wordpress.com/2009/08/03/bizarre-thrift-coincidence-1-daniels-contour-lounge-chair/

      written by a reseller who has upholstered a conutour chair, it takes about seven yards of fabric to reupholster a standard single. They apparently also redid a double a/k/a "cuddler" (in red velvet!) but I don't think mention how much fabric that took.

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  2. Metal Plate/Tag, huh?

    Nope. Not on this one.

    This is the first one I've ever had my hands on. I'll start by looking for tags in pix I can find.

    Thanks, Jeff.

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  3. Hi Dave.

    I'm not a good source for value where these are concerned cuz, well...I'm in St. Louis...and St. Louis is lousy with them! But I do see them with all sorts of prices on craigslist as well as at estate sales. I bet it's super comfy! Looks great!

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  4. I have one as well, when i bought my house i told the people i bought it from that the deal was only done if the chair came with the house.
    I too am having trouble dating it. Im assuming it is one of the first electric recline models because it does not yet have the heating or vibrating which came later.
    It does have the metal tag though, should be underneath the chair at the front by where your feet are when sitting on it. Mine also has the neck pillow with it and is in the original red fabric.
    Pretty cool chair no idea what its worth though and wish i could date it.

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  5. http://www.flickr.com/photos/jackieinmi/2498638586/lightbox/

    I think yours is "The Original" From the early 1950's

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  6. I have a choclate ORIGINAL. perfect working motor, no vibration setting though. Must move looking to sell. I have pic's. ANYBODY INTERESTED? Please contact me. choscheit@gmail.com. Really can't ship, looked into that going to Florida, cost was $400+. Living in the Chicagoland area. Please, I love it, but can't take it, Choco needs a loving home.

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  7. my friend owns a contour lounge chair that heats n vibrates he also wants to sell it but he doesn't know how much its worth....

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  8. Hi dave I have a 1969 viverator 42" cuddler contour chair the tag says "special frame", I was just wondering what it might be worth.Its been reupolstered.I dont let people sit on it cause to comphotable for anyone but my butt. lol... Thank you for your time paulprindle49@yahoo.com

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  9. I just received one that has been passed down the family from the man who sold them in Michigan my great-great- grandfather. Tho I've yet to see one like upolstered armsand a skirt only function it has is recline

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  10. I have an almost exact chair as yours, the only difference is that mine does not have an electric recline button, instead it has a wooden handle and the feet are brown wood in color. My chair has three tags, one is the inspection tag, which gives the date of inspection...02/16/61!!! The second one is the materials tag, which says that the rubberized hair pad is madeof 90% curled hog hair and 10% curled cattle tail hair. Very interesting. And the last is a metal tag that has the manufacture, model and serial no. Hope this gives you a better idea of how old yours is.

    I ran across this blog because i was trying to figure out its value, this chair is in perfect condition.

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  11. Well folks I have just purchased a Contour Chair Lounge Model CIMB with a Serial #B29196. It reclines has heat and adjustable vibration. I am only 5' tall and I tell you I think it was made for me. How can I find out its age and what it cost new? Montana

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  12. Heating and vibrating were optional.

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  13. my family has three, and they are amazing!!! but we cant seem to find a cuddler anywhere.... a cuddler is one made for more than 1 person

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    Replies
    1. I have a Cuddler for sale. I live in Michigan. It is supposed to have heat and vibrate. It is all electric. Vibrate works somewhat, heat doesn't work at all.

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    2. I am looking for just the viberator motor. Ours finally died but would love to replace the motor. Any suggestions?

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  14. I have a teal green one that looks exactly as the white one in the picture. My dad gave it to me for my birthday about 10 years ago. Mine has the vibration and moves to upright and lounge positions and everything in between.

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  15. I have one for free! in denver, Colorado Need it gone ASAP see craigslist for more info.

    http://denver.craigslist.org/zip/4360294412.html

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  16. I have one that looks just like yours. I paid $60.00 for it at the San Jose flea market in 1982. It has only the manual slide release to recline the chair, plus the vibrator. It has the original covering, and it was made in 1956. I love this chair, it is the best movie watching chair I have ever sat in.

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  17. I have a brown vinyl like this. Mine has heat but no vibrate. It also has wooden arms that fold down to make it easy to get in and out. Any idea how old this one it. All original and works.

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  18. I would like to see a picture of the folding chair arms. I think my chair's arms were meant to fold down. They have metal plates on both ends of the arms and the arms wiggle as if they might fold down. No bells or whistles just one siding button to move the chair recline position.

    contact: sherls@comcast.net

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  19. I worked for the Contour Chair Company in 89/90. The chairs then, retailed for around 2000+ depending on what options you got. We had salesman that would go to the homes and measure the customers bodies so that the chair could be build specifically to their height, shape, weight. They were very comfortable chairs, though expensive. I remember we sold one to George Jones and Conway Twitty. I think I still have copies of their order forms somewhere.

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    Replies
    1. Interesting. I too am in the St. Louis area. I am in the market for one of these. I just haven't seen any of the ones with the longer leg section. Not sure on which size I would need but at 6'2" I figured it was one of the larger ones.

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  20. We bought our contour cuddler (for two, with vibrator, seat adjuster, and I think it has heat, too--don't remember) new in between 1966 & 1967--I think the earlier date. I think we only paid $200 for it, but could be wrong (prices were so much lower back then!). We loved it, moved it several times, and it has sat in the cellar of our final home (hopefully) for perhaps the last 10 or more years, as the upholstery (vinyl brocade, blue) tore in several places (rotted with age?). Hung onto it in hopes of getting it reupholstered and using it again someday.
    However, I just gave it away to a friend, and hope she takes it and enjoys it! I haven't plugged it in for years, so hope it still works. It did the last time I tried it. Just to let you know they were around before the 80's!

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  21. My mother purchased one just like it for my father in the early '60's. He was a truck driver and did not like to relax in the regular sitting position like at work. He had the white vinyl with the toile angel design like shown above.

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