What is the peculiarity of Erisman's inclined desk
What is the peculiarity of Erisman's inclined desk

Those who lived and studied in the Soviet Union will probably remember that schools in those days had a special kind of desks - with an inclined table top and a solid structure that did not allow changing the distance between the seat and the table. However, a few decades ago they began to be abandoned, and not so long ago they were suddenly remembered, wishing that they would again take a place in the classrooms.

This decision is no coincidence, because Erisman's inclined desk, which was invented a century and a half ago, was and remains the most comfortable and safe furniture for students to study.

In fairness, it should be noted that such a design of tables has existed for a very long time: the first prototypes of such furniture appeared in the Renaissance, and later it was transformed into a desk or secretaire, and only then into a school desk. In 1865, a Swiss physician named Farner presented a drawing of school furniture in one of his works, and it is believed that it was on their basis that Erisman had already proposed his concept.

Farner's drawings

Fedor Fedorovich Erisman is a Russian-Swiss hygienist known in the second half of the nineteenth century. He was only 28 years old when he published his scientific work "The influence of schools on the origin of myopia": in its pages he presented an analysis of the dependence of the development of eye and bodily diseases on the incorrect position of a student at the table.

Based on his own ideas and research results, he created new furniture, which, with its correct design, would provide a student comfortable conditions for writing, reading, drawing.

Fedor Fedorovich Erisman

Among the design features of Erisman's one-seater desk, first of all, it is worth highlighting the special slope of its table top - it was located in such a way that the text could be read only at right angles.

In addition, the scientist, who has devoted many years to the treatment of eye diseases, took into account the optimal reading distance - 30-40 centimeters. It turned out that a student who sits at such a desk simply does not need to slouch.

Drawing and parameters of Erisman's desk

Quite quickly, Erisman's desk was introduced into the educational institutions of pre-revolutionary Russia. True, it was rather expensive to produce it, so in those days it was mainly used in elite schools and gymnasiums.

However, the history of this unique school furniture did not end there: literally a few years later, St. Petersburg student Pyotr Feoktistovich Korotkov decided to improve Erisman's concept: the desk became two-seater, and he also came up with a hinged lid, bag hooks and a shelf for textbooks under the table top. The tabletop itself has undergone changes: it was Korotkiy who decided to place recesses for inkwells and two grooves for a pen and a pencil on it.

School desk monument, Warsaw

School desk monument, Warsaw

After the October Revolution, a lot has changed in the country, but this did not particularly affect school desks: in Soviet schools, they continued to use Erisman's inclined desks.

Despite the fact that several decades have passed, they continued to remain relevant due to their exceptional functionality and safety for the health of students: the design of the school desk allowed maintaining correct posture and not interfering with the work of a neighbor, as well as the absence of sharp corners, protruding parts of fasteners significantly reduced the risk of injury to the child in the classroom.

During the Soviet era, Erisman's desks were mainstream in schools

For more than five decades, the desks of the pre-revolutionary doctor Fyodor Fedorovich Erisman were widely used in Soviet schools, but later they began to be replaced with furniture of other designs, although for some time the old tables were still used in elementary school classes.

It seemed that Erisman's desks had been completely forgotten, but not so long ago, domestic officials thought about returning the good old furniture to the classrooms, which no one could surpass all a century and a half of its existence.

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