Love The Chair

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What was the most memorable thing about your visit to the Kansas Voice Center? “It was The Chair!” Ok, it does in a way seem a little demeaning that a patient may not first mention the world-class medical care, the expertise of Jennifer (our speech pathologist), our great nurses or our friendly and caring front office staff. But, I must say, it is quite a chair. “The Chair” is a barber chair built in approximately 1918 in St. Louis by the Koken company.

“The Chair” is not only a beautiful work of art but has an ingenious design. It is constructed of quite heavy iron, porcelain, steel and leather. There are several moving parts but no electricity. “The Chair” can be raised, lowered, turned, locked, and made to recline  – all by a single lever and a hydraulic pump. Can your Iphone do that!?

This particular chair also has a special meaning to me as it belonged to my grandfather. It was located in the basement of his house in a room that was truly a small barbershop complete with large mirrors, brushes, combs, a variety of scissors, electric razors, and a hair tonic called “toilet water.” The greenish tint of the tonic gave me some hope that it was not the product of the human glomerular apparatus.

My grandfather cut the hair of various family and friends. All through grade school and into junior high I would also take my turn in “The Chair” and grandad would do his best to make me look a little more civilized. I am truly thankful that my grandfather’s chair now has a new life in aiding in the exam and treatment of those with vocal concerns. It serves beautifully in this new role and also brings back wonderful memories of grandad at the same time.

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