30

September

2011

7

School Furniture of the Past

by Alexia MacClain

The Trade Literature Collection at the National Museum of American History Library includes a number of school related trade catalogs. This catalog by J. L. Hammett entitled Illustrated Catalogue of School Merchandise 1872-1873 w/1874 cover and price list of school furniture includes desks and chairs for students and teachers. Some of the desk styles have a chair attached to a desk while others have a separate desk and chair.

The Patent Gothic Normal Desk is one of the styles that has a desk attached to the back of the chair. The desk comes with a foot rest and the chair has a curved back and folding seat. The desk has a "Patent Ink Well," a pencil shelf, and a lifting lid so that students can store materials inside the desk.

J. L. Hammett, Boston, MA.  Illustrated Catalogue of School Merchandise 1872-1873 w/1874 cover and price list of school furniture, 1872-1874, page 7, Patent Gothic Normal Desk.

The Standard High School Desk has a separate desk and chair. The desk comes with the Patented Silvered Ink Well and has a book shelf that is extra wide and deep. The desk can be used by one or two students.  The chair that goes along with the desk is "Smith's Patent."

J. L. Hammett, Boston, MA.  Illustrated Catalogue of School Merchandise 1872-1873 w/1874 cover and price list of school furniture, 1872-1874, page 11, Standard High School Desk ; Standard Normal School Desk.

This catalog and others by J. L. Hammett are located in the Trade Literature Collection at the National Museum of American History Library. Take a look at the Galaxy of Images to see more images of school furniture from this catalog.

—Alexia MacClain

 

7 thoughts on “School Furniture of the Past

  1. Anonymous

    Designer Office Furniture

    If you really want to create a good impression on your desktop, then you should definitely consider investing in the design of office furniture. Not only improve the appearance of your office, will also improve the functionality of it. Designer Office …

    Reply
  2. Dallas Midwest

    ALEXIA – ¡ my very first comment on your site. , I have been reading your blog for a while and thought I would completely pop in and drop a friendly note.i like your post about School Furniture of the Past Keep it up.

    Reply
  3. Isabel

    Nice read. I just passed this onto a colleague who was doing some research on that. He just bought me lunch since I found it for him! Therefore let me rephrase: Thank you for lunch!

    Reply
  4. Samantha Christian

    Things have changed a lot since then. The old design and creativity are what we lack these days. But somehow we have created the most adequate, rewarding and inspiring active learning & teaching atmosphere to meet the evolving needs of students and teachers.

    Regards,
    Samantha

    Reply
  5. Alexandria Martinez

    My brother found some school desks on sale and I started wondering about the history of desks. I find it so interesting that in the 1800s there were folding seats and foot rests on them. That is so fascinating how much the style has changed over the centuries.

    Reply

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