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


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.

Patent Date: 18701870-04-05

Bequest: Hoffman, JohnPatentee: Sherwood, Calvin W.Inventor: Sherwood, Calvin W.

Location: Currently not on view

Referenced In Patent Specifications: United States: Illinois, Chicago

General Subject Association: EducationClassified: Patent Models


See more items in: Home and Community Life: Education, American History Education Collection, Cultures & Communities, Patent Model School Seats and Desks


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: Bequest of John R. Hoffman

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: 1983.0508.04Accession Number: 1983.0508Catalog Number: 1983.0508.04Patent Number: 101,670

Object Name: modeldesk modelObject Type: Patent Model

Physical Description: wood (overall material)metal (overall material)brass (overall material)Measurements: overall: 7 in x 5 3/4 in x 6 1/2 in; 17.78 cm x 14.605 cm x 16.51 cm


Record Id: nmah_679326

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