“For men who have to write a lot, and over prolonged periods, a desk at which they can work standing up is an indispensable piece of furniture for altering their posture and for maintaining their health”, opined Journal der Moden in May 1786. An age when, famously, only men wrote.

Yet advantageous and positive as standing to write was, prolonged standing could, as Journal der Moden notes, lead to tiredness.

A solution was however at hand for all who preferred working at a standing height desk over a prolonged period: a chair, “or a so called donkey … on which one sits as if on a saddle, and which must be just high enough that one can sit half-standing…”1

A half-standing sitting solution whose nickname can be readily derived from the proposed sitting position.

And a half-standing sitting solution that for all it is thoroughly familiar today, was novel, one could almost argue revolutionary, and even enlightened, in 1786…….

A chair "just high enough that one can sit half-standing" as depicted in Journal der Moden, May 1786. Assuming to scale the sitting height is approx 78 cm. (Image via <a href="https://zs.thulb.uni-jena.de/rsc/viewer/jportal_derivate_00107658/JLM_1786_H005_0020.tif" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Thüringer Universitäts- und Landesbibliothek Jena</a> cc0)