Originally designed as the first piece of Pilates home exercise equipment and a living room chair for small New York apartments, the Wunda Chair is certainly one of the most challenging and effective pieces of Pilates equipment. Because Mr. Pilates wanted his program to be accessible to everyone, he created this simple yet functional way to bring his technique into the household. However, today, the Chair is most frequently used in studios and for group classes and it is an important and valuable part of my teaching. When I teach the Chair program, I am always asked why he designed the Chair and when it was invented. I think the best answer comes from Mr. Pilates himself. He stated:
My present invention relates to improvements in chairs. More particularly, it is an object of my invention to devise a chair which will better support the body, promote better posture and insure a more thorough rest and relaxation to the sitter. A further object is to provide a chair which is convertible into an exercising device as well as to provide an improved exercising device.
These words are the beginning of patent #1,969,901 filed by Joseph Pilates on August 29, 1931 for his Pilates Wunda Chair ™. The lengthy patent is accompanied by 17 drawings and was granted by the United States Patent Office on August 14, 1934.
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Gallagher, S. P. and Kryzanowska, R. (2000). The Joseph H. Pilates Collection. Philadelphia, PA: BainBridge Books.
http://www.uspto.gov/patents-application-process/search-patents. Patent # 1969901