Sylvanus Cox and William W. Fanning's 1873 School Desk and Seat Patent Model

Description
Sylvanus Cox and William Fanning from Richmond, Indiana received a U.S. patent for an improved school desk and chair. Patent no. 135089 was issued on January 21, 1873.
This model consists of a wood and iron combination folding seat and desk. The brass desk supports have Gothic arches. The seat has dark and light wood slats with a curved, smooth bench and back support. The desktop is made of wood and features a groove for writing utensils. The cutout for an ink well would have been an option. It is attached to the back of the bench and has a folding mechanism to reduce noise. The brass base supports and legs form two birds with beaks touching. There is a small brass label on the desktop. The Cox and Fanning design was become one of the most attractive desk designs of the nineteenth century.
There were a few men with the name Sylvanus Cox living in Indiana when this model was created so we do not have specific information about the inventor. William W. Fanning was a carpenter who lived in Richmond, Indiana. He was born in November 1843 and died February 20, 1909 at age 65 in Richmond, Indiana.
date made
1873
patent date
1873-01-21
patentee
Cox, Sylvanus
Fanning, William W.
transfer
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
inventor
Cox, Sylvanus
Fanning, William W.
referenced in patent specifications
United States: Indiana, Richmond
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
metal (overall material)
oak (overall material)
brass (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 8 1/4 in x 6 1/4 in x 8 in; 20.955 cm x 15.875 cm x 20.32 cm
seat: 1/4 in x 5 3/16 in x 3 1/2 in; .635 cm x 13.208 cm x 8.89 cm
ID Number
CL.65.0386
accession number
249602
patent number
135089
catalog number
65.0386
patent number
135,089
subject
Patent Models
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Education
Cultures & Communities
American History Education Collection
Exhibition
Inventing In America
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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