Joe V. Meigs's 1874 Desk and Seat Patent Model

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Joe V. Meigs from Lowell, Massachusetts, received a U.S. patent for an improved school desk. Patent no. 151898 was issued on June 9, 1874.
This model is made of wood and cast iron. The desks are attached at the back and the seats face one another. They are mounted on a wooden platform. The patent stressed comfort and claimed the desk would, “avoid fatigue and distortion of the body.” His model is rather decorative with a diamond design, made up of metal bars that cross each other. The tops are made out of wood or iron but if iron is used he encouraged the metal to be japanned, enameled, or marbleized, adding further decoration. The desk is designed to be very practical, and the whole desk comes apart to be easily transported. There are two black seats curved and connected by cast iron. The two seats are facing one another and placed on a wooden base.
Joe V. Meigs was born in 1840. He became a patent lawyer, but his mechanical skills also allowed him to become a prolific inventor. After inventing a breech-loading firearm, he was hired by the U.S. Cartridge Company, where he served as chief inventor. He died in 1907.
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date made
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Meigs, Joe V.
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
Meigs, Joe V.
referenced in patent specifications
United States: Massachusetts, Lowell
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
metal (overall material)
fabric (overall material)
overall: 3 3/4 in x 7 1/4 in x 3 1/4 in; 9.525 cm x 18.415 cm x 8.255 cm
ID Number
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Patent Models
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Home and Community Life: Education
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Data Source
National Museum of American History