Calvin W. Sherwood's 1870 School Desk and Seat Patent Model

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George Sherwood from Chicago, Illinois, received a U.S. patent for an improved school desk. Patent no. 69850 was issued on October 15, 1867.
Calvin W. Sherwood from Chicago, Illinois, received a U.S. patent for an improved school desk. Patent no. 101670 was issued on April 5, 1870.
These patents use a combination of cast iron and wood, though other suitable materials could be used if desired. George Sherwood’s patent allowed the desk seat to be raised without striking the back of the seat. Calvin Sherwood’s patent allowed for a space leaving the back of the seat independent of the desk behind it. Because desks were frequently attached to the chair of the student in front, his patent was designed to address the problem of a student seated in front moving around and disrupting the student sitting behind.
In 1856 George Sherwood moved from Connecticut to Chicago, Illinois, where he started George Sherwood & Company, later known as the Sherwood School Furniture Company. His brother, Calvin, taught school for many years before joining his brother’s company. In addition to student desks, the company manufactured other school items as well as publishing textbooks.
Currently not on view
patent date
Hoffman, John
Sherwood, Calvin W.
Sherwood, Calvin W.
referenced in patent specifications
United States: Illinois, Chicago
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
metal (overall material)
brass (overall material)
overall: 7 in x 5 3/4 in x 6 1/2 in; 17.78 cm x 14.605 cm x 16.51 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
patent number
Credit Line
Bequest of John R. Hoffman
Patent Models
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Education
Cultures & Communities
American History Education Collection
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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