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Outdoor Picnic Table - The Outdoor Picnic Table in Human Culture

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The concept of eating outdoors is as old as humanity itself. The first outdoor picnic tables were made of flat rocks and deadfall placed around a fire. This arrangement of rocks, wood and fire were at the center of Stone Age life.

At the dawn of the Bronze Age man developed the hammer and the nail. Man could now build with wood. At this same time human cultures began to shift from a hunter gatherer to an agrarian society. Humans farmed the land, built sturdy homes and eventually villages, towns and cities.

The French Revolution focused a spot light on the term picnic. After the fall of the French monarchy the liberated French citizens would go to the once forbidden royal gardens belonging to Marie Antoinette to eat, drink, and celebrate their newly acquired civil rights. These soirees were called pique-nique.

Thus began the marriage between the terms picnic and table. Once again these early outdoor picnic tables were made of carved stone, often granite, and were made to decorate a garden as well as for sitting and enjoying the outdoors.

Outdoor picnic tables have not changed very much in the last two hundred years. They are still made of stone, and wood. Outdoor picnic tables can be found in every developed country of the world. They serve as a spontaneous gathering place for human socialization.

Celebratory picnics are held throughout every human culture, such as the July 4th celebration in the United States, which marks the day of American independence from the British Monarchy. Independence Day July 4th in the United States is held around outdoor picnic tables across the nation.

The generic construction of the outdoor picnic table makes it easy to build. Two parallel benches and a table top held together with cross beams keeping it one movable unit. This same type of construction is also found in the heavy concrete outdoor picnic tables popular in parks and camping areas.

Outdoor picnic tables are not just the centerpiece of Independence Day celebrations, but are the gathering places for political and religious organization members. In Italy, a favored picnic day is Easter Sunday. In 1989 on August 19 at the border between Hungaria and Austria the Pan-European Picnic was held encouraging the struggle for German reunification.

Outdoor picnic tables are found in our parks, campgrounds, schools, work places, and homes. Whether we are celebrating, protesting or recreating, outdoor picnic tables stand at the center of our modern outdoor life.

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