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| This fact and the circumstance that none of the
kits feature reproductions of museum pieces confirmed the Hagerty's early
opinion that they were really on the track of something new and different.
With their general target defined, the Hagertys started to search for a ladder-back chair they could reproduce. In the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, which has a notable collection of Early American furniture, Fran made a pleasant discovery.
"We needed a chair that was so simply designed that it could be put together easily. Most of the chairs I saw in the museum were either too heavy to fit in with modern living or to complicated in design--like the bannister-back chairs with their ornamental wood carving, which were common at the time. Such pieces would have been expensive to make and difficult to assemble. So I took my problem to Edwin Hipkiss, the curator. It was then that I discovered that the museums were going to be very co-operative--they were not only interested in promoting public interest in Early American furniture, they also realized that anyone who bought one of the reproductions would be anxious to go the museum to see the original."
Edwin Hipkiss solved Fran's problem by finding a simply designed ladder-back in the musuem's store room. The chgair, which had been made about