Dating antique school desk

01 Jan

Especially if your desk, like many sold in the "Sears, Roebuck & Co." or "Montgomery Ward" catalogs from the 1880s to the end of the 1920s, was factory-built, you may recognize it by its measurements as much as by its design.Perfectly symmetrical measurements are a clue that your desk was factory- rather than hand-made. Early roll-tops were built of heavy woods such as black walnut, and small local companies might choose from a variety of local hardwoods.1983: Company is purchased by Georgia-based Fuqua, Inc.1987: Management-led buy-out returns headquarters to Grand Rapids. Probably the names most associated with American Seating were the master carvers in its Church Division.PRODUCTS Since it began with the union of nineteen varied companies, American Seating always operated with multiple divisions and plants, and several lines of products.In its early years, the company produced school desks, church pews, and opera or theater seating.Update: 2011: American Seating History PERSONNEL Through most of its history American Seating has been served by presidents of unusual longevity, most notably Thomas Boyd (1906-1929, and H. Alois Lang, who learned woodcarving in his hometown of Oberammergau, Bavaria, began in the American School Furniture Company carving studios in 1902. Wolters, who began as an apprentice carver in Germany, came to American Seating’s Church Division in 1923.Both were known for their carved statuary, plaques, and architectural details, including “Last Supper” altar pieces, memorials, and special commissions that grace many churches and public buildings throughout West Michigan and the nation.

She was one of the first women designers, and she is considered a mother of invention for her innovative brand of desk.Most popular toward the end of the 19th century, close-grained oak was often quarter-sawn, or cut to promote a particularly even grain, reducing the possibility of warping and increasing durability.Mahogany, teak and cherry also appear in old desks, but from 1900 on, most desks were oak.Grand Rapids, Michigan (also New York, New York, and Chicago, Illinois) SEE ALSO American School Furniture Co.(GRSFCo.) Listed below COMPANY HISTORY 1886: Grand Rapids School Furniture Company founded.