Stools: long history, short evolution

17 November 2020

Have you ever thought about the invention of the crutch? Many of us have broken our leg at some point and had to use crutches. This ingenious object has been around for more than 5,000 years. They are depicted in ancient hieroglyphics and paintings. Yet the modern stool as we know it today is only 100 years old.


The crutch is a simple but ingenious aid for people who are less mobile. If you have broken your leg, you can still go to work. In addition, it is also vital for people with congenital conditions such as multiple sclerosis or certain muscle diseases.

The first stool

It should therefore come as no surprise that the first crutches were made by the ancient Egyptians used since 3000 BC. These were simple T-shaped canes, called the armpit stool. This type of stool is the most widely used throughout history. The stool is almost as old as civilisation itself.


The first real innovation came in 1915 through Frenchman Emile Schlick. This engineer created the forearm stool. Consequently, by World War I, these stools were very popular among soldiers.

In the 1950s, US engineer and politician Anders Lofstrand Jr improved the forearm stool. He modified the stool so that the user could adjust both the length of the stool and the forearm section himself. To this day, the forearm stool remains the most popular in Europe.

Around the same time, Thomas Fetterman contracted polio. This forced him to use crutches by himself, which inflamed his shoulder joints. This motivated him to make better underarm stools making. In 1988, he produced crutches whose tip absorbed shocks. None other than Bill Clinton used this Fetterman innovation.

Latest innovation

The latest Improvement to the crutches is the MySleeve made by Belgian company My Add On. The MySleeve is a sleeve that fits on the handle of almost any type of stool. Thanks to the use of a gel patch on the crutch handle, pressure points in the hands are better distributed. This gives users a more comfortable grip on the crutch, eliminates sore hands and prevents blisters on the hands. In addition, the crutches no longer fall over thanks to built-in magnets in the cover. This also immediately makes opening doors, picking up a mobile phone, putting crutches aside easier as the crutches click together.

Wondering what our users think of the MySleeve? Find out here

Author : Lennert Suykerbuyk 

Sources : Source 1Source 2

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