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President Kennedy's Rocker

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O ne such historic object is the Kennedy Rocking Chair. John F. Kennedy was a young senator from Massachusetts in 1955 when he went to see Dr. Janet Travell for lingering back problems from a war injury. She prescribed swimming and the use of a rocking chair as therapy to ease his pain. She believed that a rocking chair relieved tension in the lower back by keeping the muscles moving, contracting and relaxing.

Kennedy bought his sturdy Appalachian oak rocker from the P&P Furniture Factory in North Carolina.

As President he so loved the rocker that his aides would bring it on Air Force One when he travelled around the country and the world. He bought additional rockers for Camp David and the Kennedy estates in Palm Beach, Florida and Hyannis Port, Massachusetts. Kennedy also gave dozens of the chairs as gifts to friends and heads of state.

T he Kennedy Rocking Chair is shaped, steam-bent and assembled according to the original design. There are no unnecessary frills - every part is functional - even the back post knobs have their use, as a place to tie a back cushion, if desired. The secret of this chair's comfort is the steam-bent curve of the back post, which sweeps in to give firm support to the sitter's back, and yet carry the weight down to the exact point on the rockers as they contact the floor.

The chair is set low for comfortable elbow support and has wide armrests for perfect balance. The seat and back offer firmness and natural spring through the use of tightly woven Malaysian rattan.

The successful bidder at the recent Sotheby's auction of Kennedy family memorabilia paid $442,500 for one of JFK's rocking chairs.

The True Kennedy Rocking Chair
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