Why this Blog Exists

To make the case for expanding the Park Slope Historic District

Monday, June 14, 2010

Cevedra B. Sheldon, Designer

Cevedra Blake Sheldon was a prolific Park Slope architect/builder who constructed a great many Park Slope buildings including the entire west side of 7th Avenue between Garfield and 1st Street, the 3 matching corner buildings at the intersection of Garfield & 7th, and the Verona apartment building at 7th Avenue and President Street, among other buildings.

It turns out that Cevedra B. Sheldon was a designer/inventor as well.

On February 1, 1876, Sheldon was granted a patent for the invention of a new kind of reclining lounge chair/"invalid chair". The chair went into mass production by the Marks Adjustable Folding Chair Company of New York:

Image: Brooklyn Museum Collection

The Marks company defended its product line assiduously, bringing suit against imitators:

The Federal Reporter: Volume 43, Sept.-Dec. 1890

Many of these folding chairs appear to have survived and to come up for auction fairly frequently. A casual search on "Cevedra B. Sheldon" yields the following examples currently for sale:


Dale Sheldon said...

Hello!! I just want to thank you for posting all of these wonderful articles about my great-uncle Cevedra and his work. I am the family genealogist and he was a bit of a mystery to me. For many years (literally, since the 1850's) he has been listed only as "Sevedra Sheldon" in a few minor genealogies and I was never able to find him (or her, I didn't even know the gender until today). Then I found an 1855 state census that listed "Sevedra Sheldon, male, age 15" with his father and a sister. Realizing he was a "he", I was determined to find more and, in expanding my search for misspellings of the name, found Cevedra B. Sheldon! His brother, my 3rd great-grandfather William Wallace Barbour Sheldon was also an architectural engineer although, unlike Cevedra, I don't think he was ever a designer. He built the famous Mark Hopkins mansion in San Francisco and the original Santa Monica Pier. Now, thanks to you, I have a wealth of additional information on my great-uncle. If you would like any info on his origins I would be happy to share them with you. - Dale Sheldon

Donald Little said...

How much are the invalid chairs going for?

Donald Little said...

How much do the Sheldon invalid chairs go for?

Dale Sheldon said...

They can go for anywhere between $800 and $4000 depending on the quality.

Adrian said...

I was wondering if anyone can tell me if this is an actual Marks chair or if it was by another maker from around that time. The rocking mechanism is what throws me off. I cannot seem to find any exactly like it except for one I saw for sale in Milan. Italy.