James Russell's 1871 School Desk and Seat Patent Model

James Russell's 1871 School Desk and Seat Patent Model

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James Russell from Plymouth, Indiana, received a U.S. patent for an improved school desk. Patent no. 117467 was issued on July 25, 1871.
This model has two separate seats that fold up, with a backrest connected like a bench. There are two attached desks behind the back rest that both have lids that can lift up. The wooden bench seat and desk are made of a dark wood with metal hinges. The desktop is divided to make a pair. The bench on the desk front is split in the same manner as the desktop. There is storage underneath both desks for books. The seats fold up individually, though the back rest is connected like a bench. The model includes original patent tags.
James Russell was born in 1821 and became a carpenter in Plymouth, Indiana.
Currently not on view
Object Name
desk model
Object Type
Patent Model
date made
patent date
Hoffman, John
Russell, James
Russell, James
referenced in patent specifications
United States: Indiana, Plymouth
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
metal (overall material)
overall: 8 1/4 in x 11 1/2 in x 8 1/4 in; 20.955 cm x 29.21 cm x 20.955 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
patent number
Credit Line
Bequest of John R. Hoffman
Patent Models
See more items in
Cultural and Community Life: Education
Cultures & Communities
American History Education Collection
Patent Model School Seats and Desks
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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