William N. Foster's 1872 School Desk and Seat Patent Model

Description
William N. Foster from Indianapolis, Indiana received a U.S. patent for an improved bench. Patent no. 128871 was issued on July 9, 1872.
This desk features a seat with five slats of alternating dark and light wood. The metal hinges allow the seat to fold up. The backrest and seat are not joined. There is a storage shelf underneath, but the desktop does not lift up. "Fosters patent Applied for May 1st" is painted on the desk. Foster was concerned with all the practical elements of the desk, incorporating a groove for the holding of pens and pencils and providing an inkstand attached to the desk. He also considered the comfort of the students and added a place for them to rest their feet.
William N. Foster founded Foster’s Bent Wood School Furniture in Indianapolis.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
model
desk model
date made
1872
patent date
1872-07-09
patentee
Foster, William N.
transfer
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
inventor
Foster, William N.
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
metal (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 8 1/4 in x 2 1/2 in x 3 3/4 in; 20.955 cm x 6.35 cm x 9.525 cm
referenced in patent specifications
United States: Indiana, Indianapolis
ID Number
CL*65.0385
accession number
249602
catalog number
65.0385
patent number
128,871
subject
Patent Models
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Education
Cultures & Communities
American History Education Collection
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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