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Top Drawer: 1920

Top Drawer: 1920

Washington, D.C., circa 1920. "Herbert E. French, photographer, in office." The proprietor of the National Photo Company, stylishly coordinated with a natty three-button desk. 8x6 inch glass negative, National Photo Co. View full size.


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Dapper Dan

This nattily dressed man sits in what for the time was a very smart office. I just don't understand the large, utilitarian bin so close to his desk. Was this to dispose of photographic materials? It seems out of keeping with the rest of the office.

[I believe that's what's called a waste paper basket. -tterrace]

Buttons, labeled.

Top Button: Call in Miss Willoughby to take a steno
Middle Button: Alert security to intruder
Bottom Button: Open hidden desk drawer containing revolver and bottle of whiskey when top two buttons don't work.

We had a very close copy of that desk

It was easily movable once the two drawer segments were separated from the top.


Both Presidents Roosevelt wore them.

My desk!

That's like the desk I'm sitting at right now! We got it at auction years ago (with everything in it) for a song - too heavy for anyone else to want.

A photographer

... but not a single photographic item to be seen.

The Pince-Nez Glasses

often had a small cord attached to the loop on the right with the other end fastened into the lapel.


Electronics was a lot simpler back then.

General relativity was already in the wings but it hadn't hit the button market yet.

Desk Dirge

I had the roll top version of this desk in the office of my shop for 45 years. It had been handed down (palmed off) for several generations. When I retired and closed the business we tried to move it and it came apart. We loaded in my truck and took it to a field at my Dads farm and gave it a dry land Viking funeral, thus depriving many generations of termites their family home.

I have this

I have the same kind of desk in my classroom. I teach in a school that was built in 1921, and I have this same style of desk that is original to the school. It has the same desk arm surface extensions (that can be pulled out from above both side drawers) and even the same style drawer handles. It is a monster of a desk and takes about 4 people to lift it. Solid oak.

Phunky physics or Photoshop?

Due to occupation (I'm outdoors most often) and a bent nose, I am constantly pushing my glasses back into place. I see no ear hooks, how does this work? It looks like maybe a small cheek rest?

[It's called a pince-nez. -tterrace]

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