Compton Furniture, Burlington NC
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Porch Rockers & Kennedy Rockers by Troutman Chair

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Troutman Chair
Troutman Rocking ChairTroutman Rocking Chair

Compton Furniture in Burlington has been selling Troutman porch rockers and chairs and the famous Kennedy Rocker for over 50 years. No better rocker can be found.

Troutman porch rockers are made entirely in Troutman, North Carolina, with solid oak construction. Oak logs are bought on site from local loggers and then milled at their sawmill, making them one of the last vertically integrated furniture manufacturers in the United States. The wood is cut to dimension, stacked, and dried. Due to the nature of construction no glue is to be found in a Troutman product

Purchasing and milling their own lumber allows them to utilize a time-honored technique called "swelled joint construction" - a technique of furniture construction borrowed from Shaker design. Moisture content in the lumber is closely monitored, when at the right point the wood is made into base pieces.

Larger posts (front and back posts) have a higher moisture content than the smaller posts (rungs). With the variance in moisture content, the small posts swell as they absorb moisture from the larger posts and the larger posts shrink as they lose moisture to smaller parts making a much tighter fit than if they had been glued. A Troutman chair will get tighter over time.

Buy your rocking chair at our furniture store in Burlington, NC!


Kennedy Rocking ChairThe Kennedy Rocker
The signature 1920s design is roomy and comfortable. But don't let the traditional styling fool you. When it comes to relieving today's stress, it is state-of-the-art. The back posts and back rails are steam bent providing the right amount of support at spinal pressure points due to curving around the shoulders and at the lower back. The cane seat and back offer firm yet natural spring.

Set low for comfortable elbow support, it has wide armrests for perfect balance. Also, the arm rests are lower than similar rockers, allowing the sitter’s arm to relax naturally at the sides of the body. Elegant turned posts and cane accents make a presidential statement in any setting. Kennedy resin rockers are also made with a hardwood frame and styled the same way except that the cane seat and back are replaced with woven resin to produce a more durable product for outdoor covered porch use. The resin can be cleaned with mild soap and water.

History of the Kennedy Rocker
In 1953, Dr. Janet Travell from New York purchased what she called her “Carolina Rocker” for her office. Future events would press the company adopt this name and eventually stamped the trademarked “Carolina Rocker” on every chair. A patient of Dr. Travell’s was a young senator from Massachusetts, suffering from chronic back trouble. His comfort in the rocker coupled with her medical advice led to a deal being struck. She would acquire another rocker for him if he would use it for therapy. That Senator of course went on to become one of America’s most remembered presidents. The rest, as they say, is history.

Photos of the President John F. Kennedy Jr. in his chair in the Oval Office began to appear. Response from the media and the public was astounding. The P. & P. phone rang constantly. Newspapers, individuals, retail stores, world leaders, politicians all wanted to know more or to buy a “Kennedy Rocker”. CBS arrived and filmed a spot interview with W. C. Page Jr. that aired on the national evening news. LIFE Magazine sent a crew to shoot pictures, which appeared, along with a write up, in their publication of April 7, 1961. Other national publications: Time, Newsweek, and Popular Science featured the phenomenon. Mail came in from all over the world: songs, poems, pictures, praises and requests. P&P did not yield to temptations of mass production of the chair and opted to remain small and family run. Even so they managed to often make as many as 250 rockers a day.

The design, developed in the late 1920s, has a high cane back, cane seat and steam bent back posts that curve around the back. It is set low for comfortable elbow support and has wide armrests for perfect balance. Also, the arm rests are lower than similar rockers, allowing the sitter’s arm to relax naturally at the sides of the body. The rocker seat and back offer firmness and natural spring through the use of tightly woven Malaysian rattan. Finally, the cane seat and back give firm, yet flexible support. Dr. Travell had commented in the past that she liked the rocker chair because of the bent back post, which makes the came back fit, the contour of a person's back. She also liked the Carolina Rocker because the armrests are not too high and the detachable seat gives more support. Also the height of the seat is such that it creates no undue pressure on the user's legs. The rocking motion is an aid to circulation and a reliever of tension.

So the “Carolina Rocker” also became known as the “Kennedy Rocker”. Over time, JFK accumulated at least fourteen of the P. & P. chairs, one of which even resided on Air Force One. His original Oval Office rocker is on permanent display at the JFK Library & Museum in Boston, Massachusetts. Two others from the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis estate were auctioned receiving $453,500 for one and $442,500 for the other.


Made in USACompton Furniture & Mattress
Specializing in furniture made in the USA
418 North Main Street
Burlington, North Carolina
Home of Elon University
336-226-7277 | Email Us
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