Kochs barber chairs are one of the oldest barber chairs in the United States. The Theo A. Kochs Company was formed in 1871 along Chicago's busy streets in the north. It produced chairs that improved on the models made by Berninghaus Co. and Archer Company. In addition, it also produced several kinds of barber's supply like poles, mirror cases, stools, shelves and wash stands.
Kochs barber chairs are made with top quality parts. No wonder they still exist today. Simply do a Google search on "kochs barber chair parts" and you'll find that many people have parts available for your particular model. Most of the time, the ones that go missing are the headrest and the wooden base. However, there are restoration services that can fabricate the parts that are beyond repair.
The Kochs Gold Medal Hydraulic Barber's Chair, No. 25 is an example of the company's earlier design. Most of its parts are made of quarter-sawed Oak wood and finished with golden varnish. In the middle is a reclining mechanism, controlled by a handle on one side. At the base is the hydraulic lift which is controlled by a mechanism that can be stepped on. The upholstery is composed of Mohair Plush leather that can be custom fitted with different colors.
Kochs barber chairs sold very well during their early days. Before 1885, more than thirty five thousand chairs have already gone out of the company's factory. This proved that its products are superior and efficient. A decade later, things have become very competitive. By 1905, the Kline Chair Company has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Kochs but was later overturned. Competition eventually paved the way for other companies to emerge, including Koken and Emil J. Paidar.
Although we don't see that many Kochs chairs these days, the legacy that they left behind set the standards for eye-catching barber chair designs. The decorations seen in these chairs demonstrate the remarkable craftsmanship of their creators.