Seating show at San Francisco International Airport (SFO)

Designers might call it a “sitting machine” but to you, it’s probably just Seat 22B.

Either way, that airplane seat has come a long way from the days when it was probably made of wicker and bent wood.

(Airline single passenger seat c. 1928)

Curious about what else airplane seats have been made of? There’s a new exhibition at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) tracing the development of airline seating from the 1920’s to today.

On display are examples of passenger chairs that include early single seats made of wicker and bent wood, the transition to aluminum-framed seats, reclining seats that introduced deep foam rubber cushioning, and first-class seating with multiple controls and personal electronics.

Airline first class single passenger seat 1993

(Photos: Courtesy San Francisco Airport Museums)

Take Your Seat: A History of Airline Passenger Chairs is on view through January 15, 2009 in the airport’s Louis A. Turpen Aviation Museum pre-security on the Departures/Ticketing Level of the International Terminal (next to the entrance to Boarding Area A)

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