Allen H. Brown's 1867 School Desk and Seat Patent

Allen H. Brown's 1867 School Desk and Seat Patent

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Allen H. Brown from May's Landing, New Jersey, received a U.S. patent for an improved school desk. Patent no. 71970 was issued on December 10, 1867.
This model features a wooden desk with metal hinges and bench sides similar to the sides of pews. The desk is hinged to the back of the bench and swings upon steel supporting arms. It has a flat front face and seat. The seat and backrest join together for lower back support. The desk lid lifts up with the help of metal hinges. It has bench-like sides with a design cut out on the front part of the legs.
Allen Henry Brown was born in 1820 and educated at the University of New York and Columbia College. He graduated from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1841 and became a Presbyterian minister. In 1846 he was sent to serve at the Presbyterian Church in May’s Landing, New Jersey. As the appointed missionary of West Jersey Presbytery, he was part of a mid-century revival of Presbyterianism and was instrumental in organizing many new congregations. His missionary work was directed towards improving school conditions, promoting education, and building schools. Brown died in 1907.
Currently not on view
Object Name
school desk
desk model
Object Type
Patent Model
date made
patent date
Brown, Allen H.
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
Brown, Allen H.
referenced in patent specifications
United States: New Jersey, Mays Landing
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
metal (overall material)
overall: 8 in x 5 in x 12 in; 20.32 cm x 12.7 cm x 30.48 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
patent number
Patent Models
See more items in
Cultural 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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