Jefferson had come to the conclusion sometime during 1774 or 1775 that the Windsor Chair he had been using for work while drafting the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia didn’t offer him enough movement, so he resolved to create something that did. The modification to a swivel chair involved introducing an iron spindle between the top and bottom half which allowed the chair to rotate on rollers taken from window sash pulleys.
Jefferson was so taken with his invention that he took it with him when he returned in 1776 to his plantation in Monticello in Virginia. Jefferson made a number of modifications to his design for the swivel chair including replacing the original legs with bamboo and introducing a writing surface to one of the arms. It returned to Philadelphia in 1836 where it remains in the possession of the American Philosophical Society.