James S. Rankin's 1862 School Desk and Bench Patent Model

Description
James S. Rankin from Madison, Indiana received a U.S. patent for an improved school desk. Patent no. 34448 was issued on February 18, 1862.
This model features a row of desks and benches held together with a central beam. This design resulted in sufficient support using the least amount of material, and simplified the cost and construction of the desk.
James S. Rankin was born in 1818. He served as a county and city superintendent of schools in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He was known for the Rankin School Desk, which was popular because it was inexpensive and convenient. These desks were used in Louisville, Kentucky; Chicago, Illinois, and many other city schools. His desk was exhibited in the Mechanic’s Hall at the Indiana State Fair where it was recommended for first premium, a cash award. He died in 1897.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
school desk
model
desk model
date made
1862
associated date; patent date
1862-02-18
patentee
Rankin, James S.
transfer
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
inventor
Rankin, James S.
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 3 3/4 in x 4 3/4 in x 5 1/2 in; 9.525 cm x 12.065 cm x 13.97 cm
referenced in patent specifications
United States: Indiana, Madison
ID Number
CL*249602.582
catalog number
249602.582
accession number
249602
patent number
34,448
subject
Education
Patent Models
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Education
Cultures & Communities
American History Education Collection
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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