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Legacies: Collecting America's History at the Smithsonian, by Steven Lubar and Kathleen M. Kendrick
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Bunkers' chairs, 1970s
The Bunkers' chairs, 1970s

These chairs, the visual centerpiece of the television show All in the Family, were purchased from a used-furniture store in California. Norman Lear, producer of the show, was clear about the meaning of Archie's chair: "Its symbolism cuts across all generations, cultures, races, times. Everybody's father had a chair, or something akin to it—someplace that was sacrosanct to him and him alone. In my father's case, for example, it was a red leather chair. We'd never think of sitting in it—it was his place." A curator from the National Museum of American History attended the taping of the final episode in March 1978 and acquired the chairs at the suggestion of John Brademas, U.S. representative from Indiana, who urged that they be preserved in the Smithsonian "as part of the cultural legacy of our country."

See also: Film and Television Memorabilia, Popular Culture Memorabilia

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