The Evolution of Classroom Desks

classroom desk

Classroom desks have come a long way!

Classroom desks have come a long way since one-room school houses.  They now have impressive designs to integrate technology, adapt to the learning needs of every student, and help students learn in new ways. Classroom desks have progressively evolved to meet the needs of students and teachers.

The 1800s

One of the first widely-manufactured classroom desks gained popularity in the early 1880s in Sidney, Ohio. The desk was designed with a T-head, designed to eliminate the need for screws and bolts to join the desk together. Instead, cast iron was used to join the desktop, the back, and the seat area to the legs.


While standing classroom desks might seem like a new phenomenon, standing desks originally gained popularity in the late 1890s. It was thought that a standing desk, with an option for “intermittent sitting” was the best possible choice for students and teachers, as they would stay more focused and get more done in less time.

The 1900s

In the 1900s, the classroom desks that we all grew up with started gaining prominence. Adjustable school desks had the chair attached to the desk itself and an innovative cubby-like space underneath the desk top. This model was very popular, as students could keep all of their learning materials in their desk for a smoother classroom experience. In the 1950s, the Munkegard school desk gained popularity thanks to its sleek, modern design. It featured the now-standard space between the top and bottom of the desk for stowing away items.


The desks of the 1960s are perhaps the most common today in classrooms across the country. These desks feature a steel or metal cubby and legs with a wooden top. In the 1970s, wrap-around school desks with plastic chairs, chrome legs, wooden desktops, and a small metal cubby area underneath the desk became standard.


Today, the biggest classroom desk trends center around standing desks. Standing desks have been proven to offer major health benefits to both kids and adults, so the desk that originally gained popularity in the 1890s is new again!

Classroom Furniture from Edwards & Hill

Are you ready for an office design that fosters productivity in your and your employees? Edwards & Hill can help you design and install the perfect office design for your facility. Edwards & Hill is a leading office, education, medical, and hospitality furniture provider with quality design and installation services for any style or scale. If you are ready to get your healthcare design started, contact us online or give us a call at 301-317-4250. For more furniture design tips, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Flickr, YouTube, and Google+.

This entry was posted on Friday, July 21st, 2017 at 6:34 pm. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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