History of Inventions
It is widely accepted that the knife was the first tool to be developed by humans. So it comes as no surprise that the first surgical instrument would be a variation of the knife, that fundamental tool which found widespread use in so many of man's earliest activities such as hunting, preparing and eating food, creating art, crafting other tools and of course our earliest attempts at medical care.
The barber chair has been a fixture in barbershops for more than a century and a half, with engravings from as far back as the Civil War era showing designs not entirely unlike those still in use today. However, the barber chair truly came to prominence around the turn of the century, when a number of patented inventions by an enterprising young man named Ernest Koken led to the basic chair design that is still in use today. Koken barber chairs dominated the first half of the century, and they remain popular today both as collectible antiques and as modern, contemporary chairs.