Charles H. Presbrey's 1873 School Desk and Seat Patent Model

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Charles H. Presbrey from Sterling, Illinoi,s received a U.S. patent for an improved school desk. Patent no. 135154 was issued on January 21, 1873.
This desk features a hinge designed to minimize the damage done by friction. The wood is an oak color with iron painted black and has a novelty design to it. Dark and light colored wood alternate together. The seat folds up. The seat is curved, and the desk is attached behind the bench. There is a groove for writing utensils and storage under the desk for books. On both sides of the desk is an iron logo that is shaped as a circle. "COGGER" is carved on the wooden base, and there is a signature in black ink on top of the seat that says "Charles H. Presbrey." The monogram “A” is impressed in the lower leg support of the desk probably as a manufacturer's mark. The model is attached to a wooden base for stability, but this would not be present in the full sized desk. Disjointed parts are tied together and attached to the model, indicating an earlier repair.
Charles Presbrey was born in 1835. In 1885 Presbrey and Edward Thomas founded C.H. Presbrey & Co. taking over the Novelty Manufacturing Company, originally founded in 1869.
Currently not on view
date made
patent date
Presbrey, Charles H.
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
Presbrey, Charles H.
referenced in patent specifications
United States: Illinois, Sterling
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
iron (overall material)
metal (overall material)
overall: 11 3/4 in x 11 in x 8 in; 29.845 cm x 27.94 cm x 20.32 cm
overall: 11 3/4 in x 8 in x 13 in; 29.845 cm x 20.32 cm x 33.02 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
patent number
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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