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Can I Write on That?

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Hey, History Buffs!

Summer camp products are all made to be packable and mobile. How do you turn something like a desk into something you can take out into the wilderness? Put a cushion on the bottom of a flat surface and you got yourself a Lapdesk! We carry Lapdesks from this awesome brand, iScream. But how did we get to this point of providing a camping desk? Let’s take a peek at the history of desks and the transformation they’ve made over the years.

We don’t need to go back to ancient times like we did for the desk’s partner in crime: the Chair. Desks appear to be a much more current necessity, going back only to the Renaissance Period—as early as the 1300s. We get the word ‘desk from the Latin word ‘desca’ which in English means “table to write on".

Just for Scribes
We see desks of the Medieval and Renaissance times in illustrations, depicted as large, cumbersome contraptions with giant storage spaces dedicated to the large and dense manuscript volumes from back in the day. These desks would be equipped with slots and hooks for bookmarking as these desks were utilized by scribes who would spend their days reading and writing.  

Take Your Seats
For a long time, most children either attended their small, village schoolhouse or were given their education at home. But by 1880, schools had grown more popular and bigger. It was an Ohio man named John Loughlin who invented the first school desk with chair attachment that connected to the desk. It’s undergone some changes since the original, however, but it became an extremely popular style for students and is still used in the classroom today.

This is Business
In more recent times, the business boom exploded with certain fields that

involve call centers, computer work, finances or any other profession that requires sitting at a desk (desk jobs). The sudden demand for an infinite number and style of desk sparked mass production and steered desk manufacturing away from finely crafted office furniture as woodworking machinery could rapidly assemble batches of desks.

Maybe your home is still adorned with a desk that’s a work of art from some craftsmen of the current day or a long time ago. No matter what desk you typically sit at, appreciate the function and purpose it provides you and, as always, thanks for reading.



- John


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