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February 6, 2023

Amazing Photos Capture People on Couches in the Late 19th and Early 20th Centuries

“Couch,” derived from French in the 1300s, meant a bed for most of its history, though by the 19th century it denoted something like a chaise-longue with a low back and one end-piece. “Davenport,” meaning the same as “sofa,” is a late 19th-century term, probably taken from the name of an American manufacturer.

As words go, “sofa” has been uncommonly useful. (It was also adopted, as sofa, into French, Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese.) It was very common throughout the 19th century and it still is. It’s held its own against other words used today for the same thing. It’s somewhat less popular than “couch” but far more common than “davenport.”

Take a look at these amazing photos to see what couches looked like in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.


  1. It is so refreshing to see images of the past of people and rooms NOT rooms of The Four Hundred or of some stuffy Captain of Industry or some salon of some French artiste !




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