Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Typewriter desk

A Typewriter desk is an antique desk form meant to hold a typewriter in an efficient position for the typist. This position is usually a few inches lower than the 29 inch (73.7 cm) height of the typical antique desktop.

The first generations of typewriters, in the last 25 years of the 19th century and the first decades of the 20th, spurred the invention and production of a great number of forms of typewriter desks.

All of the early typewriter desks were extremely sturdy affairs since the early typewriters were not electric and could be operated only by constant pounding on the keys by the user. The pounding could have gradually destroyed several traditional desks.

The early typewriter desks often had in common some form of device or method for hiding the typewriter or getting it out of the way within the desk, by swivelling it or turning it. In those days typewriters were very costly machines which one tried to protect from dust or accidents . They were also very ungainly or even ugly to those unfamiliar with them, and getting them out of sight was useful for aesthetic reasons.

After World War I typewriters gradualy became less costly and the typewriter desk was more or less standardised in two forms: One was a small mobile desk incorporating four wheels with brakes, the other was an "L" shaped desk with a "normal" height section for reading and handwriting and a lower section for the typewriter.

See also the list of desk forms and types.