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School desks were not invented until 1880. Before that time, few children went to school, as there were no laws mandating that they attend school. Many worked in factories or for their parents. The lucky ones who received education were tutored at home where they studied at adult-sized desks. If they did go to an actual school, they either studied on long tables in lecture halls, or, in poorer areas, sat on benches where they studied without a desk and struggled to write on their laps.
The first school desk was made in 1880 by John D. Loughlin in Sidney, Ohio. The desk, known as "The Fashion Desk," proved to be extremely popular across the country. The practicality of the desks allowed for many to be put together in a one room schoolhouse, and the fashion aspect of it was aesthetically pleasing to those in the education industry. Loughlin's marketing campaign also helped to sell these desks, which would eventually sweep the nation. The "Fashion Desks" were desks attached to one another and were big enough to seat two or three children. Usually, there was an inkwell so that the student could replenish his pen's supply.
The School Desk
Some time in the 1940's school desks were made with ornately designed cast iron frames and a wooden top. The slightly slanted hardwood top, often decorated with names and doodles of past occupants, had a long groove to hold pencils and pens and a circular hole that was just the right size to hold a special bottle of ink. A storage shelf for books, and possessions was located beneath the desktop. Each unit was comprised of the table part, with a wooden bench and seat back attached in the front. They were designed so that one student sat on the bench seat, and worked at the desktop of the unit in front of it.
Own A Piece of History
This writing instrument is made from one of those desks
•   Every hard wood pen includes a case

•   Every pen comes with a certificate of authenticity
School Desk
School Desk Pen $43.95 USD