In these modern times, most of us fondly (or not so fondly) remember sitting in a wooden or plastic school desk as our lessons were delivered to us. Some of us listened with the utmost attention, while others doodled our crushes’ names in the lower corner while the instructor droned on like Charlie Brown’s teacher. Whatever our experience in school, the desk was certainly a large part of it. In this article, we’ll look at a brief history of school desks and how they’ve evolved over time.
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.