The Ransom Stool is based on the stool that I grew up standing on to brush my teeth. It is the stool my dad would pull out when he needed a little extra height when doing things around the house, my Mom would use it to reach the top shelf, and I still continue to use this same stool in my shop to this day. I have always loved the simple lines and the workhorse usefulness of its form. It has withstood loads of abuse over the past 50 years and is still standing.
The stool traces its roots back to the Ransom Home, an institution for the care of the poor and homeless that was established in the Township of Ransom, Pennsylvania in 1858. The Ransom Home employed a staff handyman who, in addition to taking care of the maintenance of the establishment, also built some of the furniture for the home. In the early 1960s, my Aunt’s father-in-law was the supervisor at the Ransom Home, and he asked the Ransom Home handyman to build some of his various pieces for my Aunt’s growing family. Over the years, those pieces of furniture have circulated among our families. It wasn’t until I started to investigate the history of the stool, that I became aware of the many other well-constructed works that he created and are still in the use of my extended family.
This project is near and dear to me. I am excited to be making the first run of reproduction Ransom Stools to give little legs a step up to last a lifetime.
*Note that the wood used for the second batch of stools has some small holes in it, these are only cosmetic and do not affect the performance of the stools.