Issue 15 T.O.C. – “Resolute Care: An Examination of an Early-19th Century Pine Standing Desk”

This post is part of a blog series revealing the table of contents of upcoming Issue Fifteen. As is our custom, we’ll be discussing one article per weekday in order to give you a taste of what is to come. 

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“Resolute Care: An Examination of an Early-19th Century Pine Standing Desk”

While standing desks are all the rage these days for the home and office, with all kinds of practical and health benefits noted, they are nothing new. For centuries, the value of working while standing has been preached by the likes of Leonardo da Vinci and Thomas Jefferson, among others. It was even suggested that proper penmanship was impossible unless one wrote while standing. One Presbyterian minister noted in 1797, “A sedentary life may be injurious. It must therefore be your resolute care to keep your body as upright as possible when you read and write; never stoop your head nor bend your breast. To prevent this, you should get a standing desk.”

In Issue Fifteen, we will examine one such desk – the kind that might have graced a rural schoolhouse or accounting office in New England in the 19th century. This example is constructed entirely of pine – a practical and humble approach, but carried out with great skill. With tight joinery and graceful proportions, this is a lovely example of a well-built slant-top desk. As with every exam article, we will go through the piece thoroughly, noting tool marks, layout lines, and interesting construction details. From fine gallery drawers to spilled ink in the interior, this desk offers many details to examine.

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