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A. J. Hull's 1870 School Desk and Seat Patent Model

A. J. Hull's 1870 School Desk and Seat Patent Model

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A. J. Hull from Sterling, Illinois, received a U.S. patent for an improved school desk. Patent no. 99440 was issued on February 1, 1870.
This model is made of wood and cast iron. It improves the school desk in its use and combination of washers and projections. "A.J. Hull- Sterling, Ill" is painted on the backrest. The seat is closely slatted and folds straight down. The backrest is flat and therefore offers no lower back support. The desk is attached and the lid does not lift up; however, there is storage underneath the desktop. There are metal hinges on the seat. The legs flare out, and it sits on a metal base.
Aaron J. Hull was born in 1833. With F.T. June, he ran Novelty Iron Works, which later became Sterling School Furniture Company. A prolific inventor, Hull moved from desks to pumps in the late 1870s.
Currently not on view
Object Name
desk model
Object Type
Patent Model
date made
patent date
Hull, A. J.
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
Hull, A. J.
referenced in patent specifications
United States: Illinois, Sterling
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
metal (overall material)
brass (overall material)
overall: 7 1/2 in x 10 1/4 in x 8 1/2 in; 19.05 cm x 26.035 cm x 21.59 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
patent number
Patent Models
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Education
American History Education Collection
Cultures & Communities
Patent Model School Seats and Desks
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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