Furniture height

Discussion in 'Your Vintage Home' started by 1930artdeco, Feb 8, 2015.

  1. 1930artdeco

    1930artdeco Practically Family

    Messages:
    590
    Location:
    oakland
    I am looking at getting an old wooden school teacher type desk. My questionis why are they so short? The ones I see I would need to put the thing on a lift of about three inches.

    Mike
     
  2. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    Most school teachers in the Era were women, and their desks were scaled for their height.
     
  3. Stearmen

    Stearmen I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    7,206
    Furniture as a whole was lower in the past. I have my Great Great Grandmothers, 1850s dinning room table, and modern chairs don't fit well. I also have an 1850s office desk, same problem.
     
  4. Shangas

    Shangas I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    6,108
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    Chaps and chappettes in general, were smaller back then. Furniture was sized accordingly. If you want a really extreme example, search for knee-hole desks.
     
  5. 1930artdeco

    1930artdeco Practically Family

    Messages:
    590
    Location:
    oakland
    I thought that was the issue, I just thought that they would be a bit taller. I will get one I will just have to put it on a lift.

    Mike
     
  6. 1930artdeco

    1930artdeco Practically Family

    Messages:
    590
    Location:
    oakland
    When did they stop making wooden teacher/office desks? I know by the 50's they had converted pretty much to metal type desks-for the most part. I am about to pick up one similar to this one on Sunday and was just curious. I will post pics as soon as I get it home, it allegedly came from a hospital that the sellers grandfather owned. the seller is in his 60's so I am guessing the desk is from the 40's with wooden drawer pulls.


    untitled.jpg

    Mike
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2015
  7. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    Oak desks and steel desks both appear in the 1955 Sears Fall and Winter catalogue, but the only wooden desks that remain in 1962 are "walnut veneer executive desks." The rank and file by then had to settle for steel. So late fifties would be a good guess for the disappearance of the "classic" wooden office desk.

    Our school still used the oak desks exclusively right up until I graduated in 1981, and probably for a while after that. So they took a long time to disappear from use.
     
  8. I've also noticed this when going up stairways in old buildings. The railings are uncomfortably low as I'm rather uneasy when it comes to heights.
     
  9. 1930artdeco

    1930artdeco Practically Family

    Messages:
    590
    Location:
    oakland
    Thanks, that is about what I figured as far as when their sales started to decline. any idea as to when mine may have been built by chance?

    Mike
     
  10. LizzieMaine

    LizzieMaine Bartender

    That design was reasonably consistent all during the time when such desks were manufactured, so it's hard to say. Your best clue might be markings on the desk itself -- look for stampings on the bottoms of the drawers or in behind where they fit, or even on the underside of the top. Furniture makers often included a date code somewhere on the product, or even a simple date stamp. Traces of a shipping label might also offer clues.
     
  11. 1930artdeco

    1930artdeco Practically Family

    Messages:
    590
    Location:
    oakland
    Thanks Lizzie. Just curious.

    Mike
     
  12. 1930artdeco

    1930artdeco Practically Family

    Messages:
    590
    Location:
    oakland
    IMG_0768.jpg


    Here it is and I got the chair too. Th chair is from the 70's or 80's because it has plastic leg covers and really good plastic castors.
     

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