Dumpster Dived Mid-Century Office Chair

The dumpster sometimes turns up potentially cute finds!

Look what I found on my way home from driving Ruby to school on trash day this week.  Isn’t he lovely? Kind of hard used and beat up, but with great lines and a sort of distinguished flare to him. A neighbor who’s moving put him out on the stoop with the trash. I actually went all the way home without him, because everyone in my neighborhood was also driving their kids to school and I wasn’t sure that picking up someone’s trash was something I wanted to do. But then I realized that if I didn’t take him, someone else would. That someone could have been the trashman, taking him to the dump!

No way!

So, I went back and manhandled him into my car. Yep, I just did it like it was no big thing. Doesn’t everyone pick up discarded vintage furniture off the side of the road while tons of parents are whizzing by taking their kid’s to school?

My new chair has some problems. If you look at the top left, it’s wired together because the wood split. The wood, all over, needs a good cleaning. When Kevin tried to tighten the screws on the arms, which were wobbly, two of them were so rusted they broke in half and left the other half in the wood.

I can fix it up though. Some WD-40 already took care of its squeak.

Okay, so I’ll have some help.


The bottom of the chair says “Allen Chair Company.” A little research told me that Allen Chair Company was sold in 1956, so I’m assuming this is a 1950s, or maybe 1940s, chair. It’s very sturdy, despite the cracked wood. I’m excited to see how it looks when it’s all spiffed up. Definitely not like something you’d put out for a ride to the dump.

I found this whole website about preserving the right to dumpster dive in Reno. How interesting.


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