Landscape architect Martin Hogue recently published this interesting and detailed history of the picnic table for Places Journal (for more about Places, check out the 09-09-2016 Scout Report). In this essay, Hogue traces the history of the picnic table back to the nineteenth-century picnicking craze, portrayed in idyllic paintings such as Thomas Cole's 1845 A Pic-Nic Party. As Hogue notes, nineteenth-century picnickers usually used blankets in lieu of tables, although some picnickers (such as those portrayed in Jerome P. Thomson's 1855 painting A Picnick in the Woods of New England) would bring dining furniture outside with them to their picnic. In the early twentieth century, a number of designers sought to create a portable picnic table, eventually leading to the picnic table we know today. This essay is accompanied by a number of artworks, photographs, and sketches.
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