Wheelchair, Paris, France, 1890-1940
By the late 1800s, wheelchairs and bath chairs were rapidly replacing sedan chairs as a mode of transport for people who found it difficult to move without assistance. They had the advantage that they needed only one person to move them, and were more compact and efficient. This chair is significant because unlike a typical bath chair, the wheels are fitted with an extra ring to allow the chair to be driven by the passenger. A small handle fixed to the seat back allowed the passenger to be pushed. The chair itself however would have been unsuitable for the severely disabled, as it is essentially formed of a bentwood chair and offers little support. It does not have a footrest to lift the passenger's feet off the floor. It was made and sold in Paris, France by the Eugene Vincent company.
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