Archie Bunker's Chair from All in the Family

Archie Bunker's Chair from All in the Family

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Description (Brief)
Upholstered wing chair used by Archie Bunker (portrayed by Carroll O’Connor) in the television series All in the Family. The chair is upholstered in an orange-yellow woven fabric and has a wooden frame with wooden arms and legs. The chair was likely made in the 1940s, but its exact date of manufacture and maker are unknown; the chair was purchased for the show’s production from a thrift store in Southern California and used until the final season, when a reproduction was made after this chair was donated to the Smithsonian.
All in the Family was a sitcom that aired on the CBS television network from 1971-1979. The series, created and produced by Norman Lear and Alan David “Bud” Yorkin, was one of the most popular and influential television programs of the twentieth century. It was the top-rated show on American television for five of its nine seasons, earned 22 Emmy awards, produced five direct spinoff series, and became a cultural touchstone for an entire generation. Before the series' premiere, most sitcoms had only lightly discussed political issues and social change, focusing instead on family matters and character foibles. Lear and Yorkin thought television should do more, depicting "real people dealing with real issues," and developed All in the Family to explore how American families were experiencing and debating contemporary issues and events. The duo was inspired by the British series Till Death Do Us Part, which focused on a family grappling with the social changes and political tumult of the 1960s, representing the “generation gap” of values and viewpoints between the baby boomers and their parents.
Set in Queens, New York, All in the Family followed the working-class Bunker family: Archie (played by Carroll O'Connor), a blue-collar World War II veteran and outspoken conservative, kindhearted wife and mother Edith (played by Jean Stapleton), college-aged liberal feminist daughter Gloria (played by Sally Struthers), and her husband, progressive graduate student Michael "Meathead" Stivic (played by Rob Reiner). Archie frequently butted heads with Meathead and Gloria, demonstrating his intolerance and ignorance on issues of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and civil, women’s, and LGBTQ rights. Supporting characters introduced as foils to Archie including black neighbors the Jeffersons (Sherman Hemsley and Isabel Sanford) and Edith’s cousin Maude (Bea Arthur) proved popular enough to warrant their own spinoff series. The show’s theme song, “Those Were the Days,” was a nostalgic pean to the 1930s and Lear had the show’s set designers dress the Bunker house set in drab, sepia-toned furniture, props, and textiles to make viewers feel as if they were looking at an old family photo album.
Object Name
Object Type
date made
before 1970
T. A. T. Productions
O'Connor, Carroll
Physical Description
wood (frame; arms; legs; stretcher material)
fabric (upholstery material)
overall: 40 in x 26 in x 31 in; 101.6 cm x 66.04 cm x 78.74 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of Tandem/TAT Productions
All in the Family {Television Program}
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Entertainment
Popular Entertainment
Highlights from the Culture and the Arts Collection
National Treasures exhibit
Domestic Furnishings
Entertainment Nation
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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I was born in 1967 at Studibaker Hospital in Norwalk, Ca. When I was about 6 years old, I remember my mom and I use to spend every the evenings watching television shows like Mash, The Carol Burnett show and our Favorite, All in the Family!! My best memories of my childhood was watching All in the Family with my Mom because my Father worked Swing Shift at the steel mill. I always wondered about what happened to the chairs from the show. Thank you for the time to answer the questions.
Was this chair sent back to Los Angeles for the recent live episode that ABC aired?
It was a replica made for the live show
In what year was the chair acquired by the Museum?
As the catalog number starts with '1978' that is an indication of when the artifact was collected.
What company manufactured Archie Bunker's chair?
"Hello Robert,We don not have any information regarding the maker of the chair; documentation in the file here at the museum states that Edith's and Archie's chairs were bought at a Goodwill thrift store for about $8 for the production of All in the Family.Best,Ryan LintelmanCurator, Entertainment Collection"
"This is not Archie's first chair. The most widely used one, yes. But not the first. There is an unaired 1968 episode called "Justice for all' , BEFORE it was called "All in the family ". The chair Archie sat in is different, than the one ised in REGULAR shows. Edith's chair is the same. House is different, girl olaying Gloria is different, and the guy who plays Gloria's husband is named Richard and played by a different guy.Any chair that should be really iconic , is Edith's original chair. Technically speaking. LOVE THE SHOW EITHER WAY ! MY # 1 FAVORITE 70'S COMEDY ."
Is it correct that the "Archie bunker " chair is not available for viewing? At what point would this piece of TV memorabilia be available for viewing again.I am from Canada and not local to the area.Thanks Jackie white
"As of this writing, the Bunker chairs are on display in our "American Stories " exhibition. As with other objects on display, their status is subject to change."
"I'd like to see this chair in person. (Actually, if we're being honest here, I'd would love to SIT in this chair, one day.) V.S."
"I saw this exhibit twice years ago and it was so interesting. I could just picture Archie in his looked comfortable, too!"

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