George Elsey's 1878 School Desk and Seat Patent Model

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William Erwin and Thomas Dugdale from Richmond, Indiana, received a U.S. patent for an improved school desk. Patent no. 100275 was issued by Dugdale and Erwin on March 1, 1870.
This desk is made of wood, with brass legs and metal hinges. It has a flat backrest and seat. The seat and backrest do not join. The desktop lifts up and has storage underneath. The seat folds up as well. The specifications state the desk should be made out of ash or walnut lumber and should be put together with wooden screws. The metal parts should be made of cast iron, except for the screws, which they stated should be made of wrought iron. There is a plate on the backrest, but the writing is not legible. Erwin's name is on the backrest. There is a wooden foundation, and the entire base is made of either brass or metal.
We are not aware of any additional information about William Erwin.
Thomas Dugdale holds patents for numerous inventions.
Currently not on view
date made
patent date
Erwin, William P.
Dugdale, Thomas A.
referenced in patent specifications
United States: Indiana, Richmond
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
metal (overall material)
overall: 6 3/4 in x 7 1/2 in x 1 in; 17.145 cm x 19.05 cm x 2.54 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
patent number
Patent Models
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Data Source
National Museum of American History