22 WaterRower Fitness. Designed. 23 Iconic Design Inspiration for the design came from the sparse elegance of Shaker furniture. The WaterRower was invented in 1988 by John Duke, a Yale University engineer, and USA Rowing National Team candidate. Mr Duke had two principles leading his design: • Firstly, to replicate the experience of rowing in a boat, aiming to bring the sound, resistance, and physiological benefits of rowing to a wider audience. • Second, to create a piece of “Fitness Furniture” with an aesthetic that would complement a residential setting. Duke’s goal was to create a rowing machine with which the user has a welcoming emotional connection, as they would with a favoured piece of art or furniture. Central to this was manufacturing from wood. Inspiration for the design came from the sparse elegance of Shaker furniture, renowned for being beautiful, well-made objects that could be used in everyday life. The WaterRower, as with Shaker furniture, does not have any superfluous design elements. Every component of the WaterRower has a precise role to play in the rowing machines function. With his design finalised, Mr Duke set up the WaterRower factory in the New England state of Rhode Island. A hub for skilled manufacturing labour and just a few hours north of the Appalachian Mountain Range from which the WaterRower wood is sourced, Rhode Island remains the home of our manufacturing operation to this day.