When it comes to antique barber chairs, the Koken barber chair has been a symbol of innovation. It was the first one to have a successfully integrated hydraulic lift. This technology made it convenient for the barber to lift the chair up or bring it down when he needed to. It was a groundbreaking idea during the early 1900’s.
A Koken barber chair is considered revolutionary during its time. It was the first one that would hydraulically lift up and down. Before 1891, barbers would have had taken a chair and spin it to raise it or spin it the other way around to lower it. Earnest Koken ended up designing his chair so that when the lever is pumped up and down, it would raise the chair up. On the other hand, the chair would gradually lower itself when the lever is pushed on its side.
Ernest Koken invented the hydraulic-powered barber chair, thus it was aptly named after him. Mr. Koken was born in Germany but moved to the United States in his early years. As a young boy, he already had a knack for blueprints. It wasn’t surprising that he was able to develop a reclining barber chair while working for a barber chair manufacturing company. He eventually moved on to form his own business called, Koken Barbers Supply. It was a success for some time. Unfortunately, his company went out of business in the 1950’s. About a decade later, Koken was acquired by the Takara Belmont Company, a competitor and the manufacturer of Belmont barber chairs.
Nowadays, Koken barber chairs are the most sought after vintage barber chairs. Their design and craftsmanship are genuinely one of a kind. A modern equivalent of the chair, the Legacy Koken Barber Chair, is being sold by the Takara Belmont Company to this day. On another note, there was a Koken featured in History Channel’s American Restoration. It was a 1930’s model shown in the episode titled, Close Shave which premiered on September 23, 2011. Fully restored, it sold for US $6,500. Rick Dale, owner of Rick’s Restorations, bought it from a local picker for US $400. Not bad for a beat-up Koken barber chair.
Of all the chairs ever invented, the barber’s chair is probably the most complex yet the most interesting in the bunch. A barber chair can conveniently rise up or lower down with the use of a foot-operated jack or a lever on the side. It can also stretch out so that the patron can comfortably lie down for a massage or have her hair washed. The barber doesn’t even need to go to either side when cutting hair. The chair can simply be rotated to the direction where the barber wants it to be. A barber’s chair is sturdy too. It can withstand men and women of various measurements. This makes sense, considering that most modern chairs are normally made from metal, porcelain and leather.
i have found a koken chair. fabric looks floral like 1950s-1970s
I have the series number too. It needs repair but it’s in very good condition on the hydraulics. Will like to repair the fabric to an authentic print. Let me know if anyone can help.
Currently selling a set of two 1930’s style chairs. Asking $5,000 for the set or submit an offer if you are feeling lucky:
My friends has a Koken barber chair, it’s really old,
It has a what looks to be brass plate on the back of the chair that reads
Pat. Oct. 30,1888
Koken Barber Supply Co
Everything still works on it , it has the canvas and leather straps, the head rest, the foot rest, it swivels, and only has one small tear in the back of the chair. Does anyone know how much this chair could be worth
That’s worth a lot. Check out Antiques Road Show. Check on eBay too.
I have a Koken barber chair, black leather and porcelain….cannot find serial #….where would I look?
Very old but well preserved koken wooden barber chair. Has hand engraved sides and arm rest and leg. Feet of pedestal have brass loins foot covers. No damaged wood hydraulics are functional and needs reappolstered. Asking 1000 will take best offer need to sell asap contact me at [email protected] or 6183352798
1920 reupholstered wooden barber chair. Great for the orange and blue fans (Florida Gators). Asking $1000 or best offer. Email me for pics
I have a very old koken barber chair needs to be restored what is it worth want to sell it