Wills Trading Cards #17: Strengthening an Old Garden Seat

Strengthening an Old Garden Seat

Strengthening an Old Garden SeatDuring the 1930s, the tobacco company W.D and H.O.Wills gave away colourful and entertaining collectors ‘cigarette trade cards’ in packets of their cigarettes. ‘Household hints’ was issued several times, in slightly different editions from 1930 to 1939. Some of the ideas look antiquated and redundant but occasionally there are forgotten gems that are pertinent today.  I am sharing this series as a historical glimpse into yesterday’s home maintenance and the occasional addition to solutions for the modern home.

17. Strengthening an Old Garden Seat

“Garden seats which are exposed to the weather often become loose and shaky. This may be remedied by strengthening the back with strong galvanised wire in the following manner. Fix iron strainers to the back legs, as shown at AA. Secure the wire to the opposite corner by drilling two holes threading the wire through one and back through the other, and hammering the end into the wood as shown at BB. In attaching wire to the strainers, care should be taken to attach equal tension on both wires.The seat ends may be strengthened  by bolting to them a strip of iron 3/4 x 3/16 in as shown at CC. All metal parts may be painted to match the wood.”

Good garden furniture is made from teak, which is selected because it is oily and resists decay. If you cannot take in your garden furniture during the wet months, it is important to make sure  that every part of the surface is sealed with a wood preservative.  Its more attractive to prevent the chair from wobbling in the first place, than bracing it with dodgy galvanized wire.