Henry Merz's 1878 School Desk and Seat Patent Model

Henry Merz's 1878 School Desk and Seat Patent Model

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Henry Merz from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, received a U.S. patent for an improved school desk. Patent no. 204444 was issued on June 4, 1878.
This model is a combination of wood and black metal. The bench or chair is comprised of compressed slats that form horizontal grooves in the seat and backrest. The chair curves for comfort and body support and lifts up. The desk is attached to the back of the backrest. The desktop is made of wood and has storage underneath the desk for books. The desktop is supported by a metal frame that connects to the chair's support system.
We are not aware of any additional information about the inventor/patentee.
Currently not on view
Object Name
desk model
Object Type
Patent Model
date made
patent date
Merz, Henry
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
Merz, Henry
referenced in patent specifications
United States: Wisconsin, Milwaukee
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
iron (overall material)
metal (overall material)
overall: 11 in x 11 1/2 in x 12 in; 27.94 cm x 29.21 cm x 30.48 cm
ID Number
catalog number
patent number
accession 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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