David I. Stagg's 1876 School Desk Patent Model

David I. Stagg's 1876 School Desk Patent Model

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David I. Stagg from New York City received a U.S. patent for an improved school desk. Patent no. 177583 was issued on May 16, 1876.
This model is made completely of unpolished wood. Most of the wood is dark, but the wood that connects the chair to the hinges is lighter colored. The desk can fold in different ways, making it compact. The desk is set on a wooden foundation and can be pivoted vertically or folded at the front of the desk, leaving a chair or a bench with no backrest. The innovative arms, pins, and shoulders are used to pivot the desktop.
David I. Stagg was born September 6, 1816 in Patterson, New Jersey. For fifty years he served as an apprentice and journeyman in the New York school system. In his last post he served the New York City Board of Education as Superintendent of School Buildings, overseeing school construction from 1872-1886. The museum owns four of his school desk patent models. He died May 11, 1886.
Currently not on view
Object Name
desk model
Object Type
Patent Model
date made
patent date
Stagg, David I.
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
Stagg, David I.
referenced in patent specifications
United States: New York, New York City
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
overall: 7 1/2 in x 8 3/4 in x 7 in; 19.05 cm x 22.225 cm x 17.78 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
patent number
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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