Rolltop desk:

  • Massive 2-piece desk with quarter-round cover of turned louvers on canvas backing that rolls up and back to reveal well with about 20 pigeonholes and ten drawers.
  • Narrow top molded and slightly overhanging, parallels writing surface that divides well from lower pedestals.
  • Each pedestal has four drawers of equal size topped by narrow pull-out writing slide.
  • Molded, plinthlike base
  • Pulls: leaf-carved wooden grips
  • Sides and back paneled
  • Nailed, glued, and screwed construction.
  • Manufactured in large factories throughout the East and Midwest. c. 1880-1930.

For more than 50 years the rolltop was the standard office deskt throughout the United States. Many thousands of desks were produced, and many still remain. The earliest were made of walnut or cherry, but by 1900 oak was used almost exclusively.