Albert E. Roberts's 1868 School Seat Patent Model

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Albert E. Roberts from Des Moines, Iowa, received a U.S. patent for an improved school desk. Patent no. 79145 was issued on June 23, 1868.
This combined wooden desk and seat has a folding lid for the desktop that enables students to pass between the desks easily. There is a box for books featuring a lid with a slate surface and a portfolio underneath the desk. It is made up of a double seat with an armrest in the middle. "A. E. Roberts" is painted on the back of the seat. Letters designating model parts are pasted onto the model for reference. There are remnants of a leather envelope behind the seat. The backrest and seat are flat, and there are no curves for body support. The legs are wooden and flare outwards. There is also a leather pouch attached to the back of the backrest. The pouch attached to the backside of the backrest has been ripped off and worn.
Albert E. Roberts was born in 1842 and became a manufacturer of school furniture.
Currently not on view
date made
patent date
Roberts, Albert E.
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
Roberts, Albert E.
referenced in patent specifications
United States: Iowa, Des Moines
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
metal (overall material)
steel (overall material)
leather (overall material)
paper (overall material)
overall: 11 1/4 in x 11 in x 6 1/4 in; 28.575 cm x 27.94 cm x 15.875 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
patent number
Patent Models
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Home and Community Life: Education
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American History Education Collection
Data Source
National Museum of American History