What’s it Worth: Movable High Chair

This hardwood convertible chair-stroller was a real convenience for mothers, introduced in 1876.

My father-in-law was born in 1919; we believe his parents used this high chair/stroller for him and his older siblings. How old is it, and what’s its value?

K.D., Gadshill, Ontario

What’s it worth?

This hardwood convertible chair-stroller was a real convenience for mothers. Thousands of them were sold in the late 1800s and early 1900s, when baby products were far less accessible and varied than they are today.

The design, patented in 1876 and used through the 1920s, offered a 40-inch-tall high chair that could be used with the tray or pulled up to the table. It was easily switched and locked into position to become a 30-inch-tall stroller. Cast-iron wheels allowed easy movement. But tiny fingers could get pinched in the mechanism, and the chair was difficult to sanitize.

Today, collectors use them for displaying antique dolls. With a single-board back and original footrest, and restored to its original maple-honey color, yours is worth about $160.

—Barbara J. Eash (Country Woman Magazine’s Antiques Expert)

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