These desks generally shared a basic shape and function, though specific designs and features varied throughout the century.
Etymology[ edit ] The word "desk" originated from the Modern Latin word desca "table to write on", from the mid 14th century.
Medieval illustrations show the first pieces of furniture which seem to have been designed and constructed for reading and writing. Before the invention of the movable type printing press in the 15th century, any reader was potentially a writer or publisher or both, since any book or other document had to be copied by hand.
The desks were designed with slots and Writing desks with drawers for bookmarks and for writing implements. Since manuscript volumes were sometimes large and heavy, desks of the period usually had massive structures. The basic desk forms were developed mostly in the 17th and 18th centuries.
The modern ergonomic desk is a refinement of the mechanically complex drawing table or drafting table  from the end of the 18th century.
Industrial era[ edit ] An office desk in a cubicle, which shows the sharing of space between computer components and paper documents. Refinements to the first desk forms were considerable through the 19th century, as steam-driven machinery made cheap wood-pulp paper possible towards the end of the first phase of the Industrial Revolution.
This allowed an increase in the number of the white-collar workers. As these office workers grew in number, desks were mass-produced for them in large quantities, using newer, steam-driven woodworking machinery.
This was the first sharp division in desk manufacturing. From then on, limited quantities of finely crafted desks have been continued to be Writing desks with drawers by master cabinetmakers for the homes and offices of the rich, while the vast majority of desks were assembled rapidly by unskilled labor from components turned out in batches by machine tools.
Thus, age alone does not guarantee that an antique desk is a masterpiece, since this split in quality took place more than a hundred years ago.
More paper and correspondence drove the need for more complex desks and more specialized desks, such as the rolltop desk which was a mass-produced, slatted variant of the classical cylinder desk. Paper documents became voluminous enough to be stored separately in filing cabinets.
Correspondence and other documents were now too numerous to get enough attention to be rolled up or folded again, then summarized and tagged before being pigeonholed in a small compartment over or under the work surface of the desk. The famous Wooton desk and others were the last manifestations of the "pigeonhole" style.
The surfaces of some newer desks could be transformed into many different shapes and angles, and were ideal for artists, draftsmen, and engineers.
Steel versions[ edit ] A small boom in office work and desk production occurred at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th with the introduction of smaller and less expensive electrical presses[ further explanation needed ] and efficient carbon paper coupled with the general acceptance of the typewriter.
Steel desks were introduced to take heavier loads of paper and withstand the pounding meted out on the typewriters. This also gave rise to the " typewriter desk ", a platform, sometimes on wheels and with expandable surface via flaps, that was built to a specific height to make typing easier and more comfortable than when using a standard or traditional desk.
The L-shaped desk also became popular, with the "leg" being used as an annex for the typewriter. Another big expansion occurred after the Second World War with the spread of photocopying. Paperwork further increased the number of desk workers, whose work surfaces diminished in size as office rents rose, and the paper itself was moved more and more directly to filing cabinets or sent to specialized records management centersor transformed into microfilmor both.
Modular desks seating several co-workers close by became common. Even executive or management desks became mass-produced, built of cheap plywood or fiberboard covered with wood finish, as the number of people managing the white collar workers became even greater.
School desk manufactured by the American S. Company of Buffalo, New York in about Student desk and chair commonly used in high schools and universities. A student desk can be any desk form meant for use by an enrollee in elementary, secondary or postsecondary education.
Anna Breadin designed and patented a one-piece school desk in the late s that was built with a table section attached in front of a wooden seat and back rest. Before this, most students in America sat either on chairs or long benches at long tables.
It often is a pedestal desk, with only one of the two pedestals and about two-thirds of the desk surface. Such desks are sometimes called "left-pedestal desks" and "right-pedestal desks", depending on the position of the single pedestal.
These desks are not as tall as normal adult desks. In some cases, the desk is connected from the seat to the table.
The desks are usually mass-produced in steel or wood and sold on the consumer market. Modern mass-produced student desks are often made with laminate table tops and molded plastic seats in a combined single unit, with storage found under the desktop or on a wire shelf beneath the seat.
One of the most common is the bunk-bed desk, also called the " loft bed ".Desks & Computer Tables: Create a home office with a desk that will suit your work style.
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|Desk - Wikipedia||See Article History Bureau, in the United States, a chest of drawers; in Europe a writing deskusually with a hinged writing flap that rests at a sloping angle when closed and, when opened, reveals a tier of pigeonholes, small drawers, and sometimes a small cupboard. Many bureaus of this period and earlier were surmounted by a bookcase with one or two doors, which were sometimes glazed.|
|Shop by category||Early Desks Antique Office Desks Desks with flat tops at the height of tables and drawers were common throughout the period since the s.|
|Antique Desks & Writing Tables||When you are choosing a desk there are many things to consider such as the size and shape of the room into which it is to be placed, whether you need a lot of storage options or will a single drawer option be sufficient for your needs? Many desks, antique and contemporary, offer the comfort and convenience of having a leather writing surface and these are often embellished with tooled design work to enhance the appearance of the desk.|
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