The School Desk - A Journey Through Time by Ukedu, 28/01/17

The School Desk - A Journey Through Time
Prior to the 1800's, children were often home-schooled so there was no real need for desks. In 1881 The Sidney School Furniture Company designed the 'Fashion' desk, claiming “No desk in the market is made with more care, nor of better materials than the 'Fashion', and none has met with a more popular reception, or gives better satisfaction”.

The School Desk

A JOURNEY THROUGH TIME

Prior to the 1800's, children were often home-schooled so there was no real need for desks. In 1881 The Sidney School Furniture Company designed the 'Fashion' desk, claiming “No desk in the market is made with more care, nor of better materials than the 'Fashion', and none has met with a more popular reception, or gives better satisfaction”.
 
Arguably, the most important feature of this innovative design was it's patent T head which combined the wood of the top, back and seat to it's cast iron legs without the need for screws and bolts. The 'Fashion' was manufactured in a range of sizes to suit all ages of children.

1800

1880-1
The Fashion Desk

Prior to the 1800's, children were often home-schooled so there was no real need for desks. In 1881 The Sidney School Furniture Company designed the 'Fashion' desk, claiming “No desk in the market is made with more care, nor of better materials than the 'Fashion', and none has met with a more popular reception, or gives better satisfaction”.
 
Arguably, the most important feature of this innovative design was it's patent T head which combined the wood of the top, back and seat to it's cast iron legs without the need for screws and bolts. The 'Fashion' was manufactured in a range of sizes to suit all ages of children.

1899
The Standing Desk

Napoleon and Thomas Jefferson were no strangers to the stand-up desk, and it's no surprise to us! This desk was hugely popular at first in the office as early as the 1400's, and was introduced in schools around 1899 due to the idea that it would increase focus and creativity. The desk went on to be hugely popular amongst some of the greatest names in history including Charles Dickens, Winston Churchill and Ernest Hemingway- so it's fair to say that this desk may just have changed the world!

1920's
The Welsh School Desk

Napoleon and Thomas Jefferson were no strangers to the stand-up desk, and it's no surprise to us! This desk was hugely popular at first in the office as early as the 1400's, and was introduced in schools around 1899 due to the idea that it would increase focus and creativity. The desk went on to be hugely popular amongst some of the greatest names in history including Charles Dickens, Winston Churchill and Ernest Hemingway- so it's fair to say that this desk may just have changed the world!

1930's
The Adjustable School Desk

Sometime in the 1930's The Adjustable School Desk was introduced, and was seen as somewhat of an innovation. This desk allowed pupils to adjust the height of their seat and desk and was the first desk to host a 'swivel' seat and individual storage compartment for maximum comfort and privacy.
 
A patent was granted to creator George H. Abbott on 30th April 1930 entitled 'Combined Desk and Seat' (U.S Patent no. 1,883,322).

1946
The ProuvéSchool Desk

Designed by French architect Jean Prouvé, this tandem school desk was considered one of the most influential designs of the early modern design movement. The desk comprised of a rectangular wooden top that rested on bent steel feet that helped to support the frame for the two small attached chairs.
 
The design included a built in magazine shelf underneath the main desk that enabled students to tuck away their books and belongings during lessons. Handy!

1950's
The Munkegård School Desk

Arne Jacobson was responsible for the development of this lightweight school desk as part of his complete design of the Munkegård school in Denmark somewhere between 1950-1955.
 
The simplistic design made from plywood and chromed steel, featured a hook for school bags and a cubbyhole type compartment for books and stationary.

1960's
The Steel-and-Chrome School Desk

This school desk was made by Heywood Wakefield in the early 60s out of chrome, steel and a patented material called 'HeyWoodite'. This tough and durable table was painted in an iconic 60s green colour and had sturdy chrome legs along with a lift-the-flap compartment for pupils to store their belongings.

1970's
The Wraparound School Desk

The 1970's saw the introduction of a desk that is still popular today- The Wraparound. The main features of this particular desk include a fibreboard table that partially encloses around the pupil's body and an attached plastic chair with a chrome rack underneath for the storage of books. Although a fantastic and practical design, this desk proved problematic for left-handed classmates and the struggle to snatch one of the few left-handed desks was real!

1980's
The 'Old is New Again' School Desk

A combination of the 50's style Munkegård and the 60's Heywood Wakefield, this desk comprises of a steel base topped with finished plywood. With under-desk space for the storage of books, and the freedom to add a chair of choice, it's no wonder that this desk is still being used in classrooms today.

2000's
The New Millennium Standing Desk

During the late 2000's, the standing desk was once again introduced in a number of schools. This time it wasn't solely to promote educational success, but rather to reduce the risk of students developing major health issues such as carpal tunnel syndrome and obesity.
 
Of course, these new and improved standing desks are now made from durable metals rather than wood, and have multiple storage areas for books, stationary and lunch! There's even an adaptable version of this desk that students can access PC's from during IT lessons.

2010
The Node Chair

In 2010, furniture manufacturer Steelcase Inc. presented us with the Node Chair. This state of the art design could almost be described as a combination of all past school desks! This all-in-one product includes a swivel chair, large adjustable work surface and a base to hold belongings. The Node Chair isn't widely used in classrooms around the world yet.

2012
The Earthquake-Proof Desk

Designed with disaster-prone areas in mind, this modern-day desk was designed as a final project by students Arther Brutter and Ido Bruno at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Designs in Jerusalem.
 
After much controversy, tests have confirmed that the desk can hold up to a 2,000 pounds of weight and is in fact a credible product. Brutter and Bruno are currently awaiting a patent so that they can begin distributing these desks in the areas around the world in which they are most needed!

present day

Take a look at our extensive range of desksand workstationsand find exactly what you need for your classroom, today!

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