Josiah Delph and William A. Bradford's 1876 School Desk and Seat Patent Model

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Josiah Delph and William A. Bradford from Goshen, Indiana received a U.S. patent for an improved school desk. Patent no. 179472 was issued on July 4, 1876.
This model consists of a chair in front and the attached desk behind it. The desk folds up and down with metal hinges, and it can be locked and unlocked. The compressed slats are maple-colored wood and create horizontal grooves in the seat. The iron legs have feet with small holes for attaching to a base. The desk top, the supports and legs are of decoratively cut metal. The original patent tags are attached to the desk. One tag is pasted to a newspaper clipping illustrating the machinery of the desk top.
Josiah Delph and William A. Bradford worked for L.H. Nobel & Sons, a leading manufacturer of school furniture.
Currently not on view
date made
patent date
Hoffman, John
Delph, Josiah
Bradford, William A.
Delph, Josiah
Bradford, William A.
referenced in patent specifications
United States: Indiana, Goshen
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
metal (overall material)
overall: 10 1/4 in x 9 3/8 in x 10 3/4 in; 26.035 cm x 23.8125 cm x 27.305 cm
seat: 9 1/2 in x 3 3/4 in; 24.13 cm x 9.525 cm
desk: 8 in x 3 3/4 in; 20.32 cm x 9.525 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
patent number
Credit Line
Bequest of John R. Hoffman
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