My father retired from his law practice about a year ago. More recently, he and his wife sold their home and moved west to Arkansas. In this process, he’s been trying to both downsize their household as well as get rid of many years worth of office items. My brothers went to help clean out a storage unit a couple of months ago and returned with one of the ’50s-era, metal office desks that my father had in his law office.
The desk is battleship gray, with quite a few dings and scratches. However, it’s very sturdy (as it’s made of approximately 1,000 tons of sheet metal) and still in pretty good shape. The damage it has is more along Wabi-sabi1 than disrepair, so I’m okay with it for the most part.
This, along with a similar style desk, were in my father’s office since I was very young. Also, since I was very young, I’ve always been fascinated with not only space exploration and technology, but the aesthetic that is associated with those things. If you can imagine the desk that an engineer at either NASA or IBM might have sat at sometime in the early ’60s, you’re thinking of a desk like this.
This particular desk has an interesting feature where a corner of the desk is lower than the work surface to accomodate a typewriter (no doubt, sized for a 1961 IBM Selectric).
This desk also has drawers (!), unlike my old wood desk. I just need to clean up the glides a bit. I’ve of course never heard a dying pterodactyl, but I think I have a very good idea what one might sound like based on the bottom drawer opening.
- It’s worth noting here that my wife doesn’t particularly care for the desk. Probably for two reasons: 1) She (rightly) notes that it really doesn’t fit in with pretty much any other furniture in my office, let alone the rest of the house and 2) she —at some fundamental level— doesn’t recognize the concept of Wabi-sabi. That is, not that she doesn’t get the idea, just that in her opinion, it’s just wear and tear that should be fixed rather than aesthetic appeal. [↩]